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October 4, 2013
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In This Issue
We Hear You!
On Your Mark, Get Set…ENROLL!
Open Enrollment, Stateside
Countdown to Shutdown
Congress to Start SHOP-ping
What We're Reading
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We Hear You!

While we try and keep the Washington Update light and (hopefully) funny, we know that the frustrations caused by the exchange opening this week have been extremely tough for many of you. Of course we still plan to pick on the marketplaces and their highs and lows in the rest of thisUpdate, but right up front we want you to know that we’ve also been constantly communicating to CMS all of your frustrations and concerns. So far, they have been quite responsive and appreciative of the feedback, even though they may not be able to correct all of the problems right away... Read More

On Your Mark, Get Set…ENROLL!

Whoops, false start. Tuesday marked the day we have all been anxiously waiting for—the start of open enrollment in the new health insurance marketplaces. Although after hearing from many of you, open enrollment day didn’t actually seem that open. Plagued by many technical glitches, the roll-out of the heart of PPACA is certainly off to a rough start. Tuesday was one of the most anticipated days in health care history, and depending on who you ask, events transpired either exactly or not at all as expected... Read More

Open Enrollment, Stateside

Overall, the state-based exchange experience has, so far, been a lot more positive than the federal. There have been lots of success stories in the state marketplaces, but each marketplace’s inter-workings have also been as unique as the states themselves. Some state-based exchanges experienced glitches too, and a few have delayed portions of their exchanges, including new delays that occurred within hours after the start of open enrollment. Other states have had some great success not only with their websites but also in actually enrolling consumers in plans... Read More

Countdown to Shutdown

After weeks of anticipation and some of the most dramatic political theater we’ve seen in a while, the federal government officially closed at midnight on Monday. Many of us hoped that Congress would be able to compromise and keep the federal government open, but as the deadline loomed, that possibility became increasingly less likely. The House of Representatives vetoed all CR drafts that came over from the Senate that did not include language that either defunded or delayed all or part of PPACA, and the Senate of course struck down any legislation that included delay or defunding language. Without a resolution to the issue, the federal government shutdown at midnight on October 1... Read More

Congress to Start SHOP-ping

A story that got a little buried this week but we found to be quite interesting is that the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) finalized the rule for how members of Congress and their personal staff will obtain health coverage through the exchanges starting in January and keep their federal employer contribution. The solution they released was a bit of a surprise. Instead of requiring them to buy coverage through the individual exchanges in the various states, all members of Congress and all of their personal staff—even the in-district staff—will be required to buy SHOP exchange coverage through the D.C. SHOP exchange. Staffers who work for committees will be allowed to remain on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP)... Read More

What We're Reading

We’re getting by with a little help from our friends this week. The funny and fascinating videos in the list below were suggested to us by two different members who are also dear friends. We found the boring health policy articles for you... Read More

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