30,000 CT Residents Could Lose Coverage Or Subsidies Next Month

Access Health CT’s acting CEO recently said that as many as 30,000 customers of the state’s health insurance exchange could lose coverage or see a drop next month in the subsidies used to discount their premiums due to not submitting the information needed to verify their coverage. The changes taking effect on December 1 could affect more than 10 percent of Connecticut residents who signed up for private insurance or Medicaid through the exchange. The exchange has implemented a process to adjust or cut off coverage for those who have not addressed discrepancies related to their income or citizenship information they provided when applying for coverage. Although the federal health law allows people to receive coverage and financial assistance based on the information they provided, they must provide documentation to support it within 90 days. If verification is not received, the amount of financial assistance the person receives may be reduced or coverage may be cut off. The exchange will check the information of the 30,000 customers over the next week.

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Legislation to Eliminate Federal Funding for Lawmakers’ Health Benefits

A bill has been proposed that would eliminate federal funding of health care premiums for members of Congress, forcing lawmakers to use the new health insurance exchanges. This proposition, known as the No Obamacare Subsidies for Congress Act, will ensure lawmakers are treated as equals to others in the high-income tax bracket. This legislation will require members of Congress and their families to enter the insurance exchange, removing them from their current, yet lavish federal plan. Congressional staffers will also be subject to the same guidelines but based on income may be eligible to receive federal subsidies.

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Stay turned to HMS for more information as details continue to unfold

Some States Cut Down Medicaid Coverage

While millions of adults are gaining Medicaid coverage next year under the federal health law, more than 150,000 people anticipate losing coverage in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor. States are finding ways around the requirement and ultimately looking to cut back, designing products that were never intended for lower-income individuals. Currently four states– Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin– are planning to reduce eligibility. Most people losing Medicaid will be eligible for federal subsidies to purchase private coverage but some will not be granted these benefits. While this is a program meant to expand health coverage to low income citizens, it unintentionally leaves some of the most vulnerable citizens, now insured by Medicaid, uninsured. Benefits, premiums and cost sharing could all be different under this new system.

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Are You Expecting a Subsidy Next Year?

If you purchase your own health insurance you may be in luck. Next year, under Obamacare, subsidies will be available to help both individuals and families pay their premiums. Researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation have created a report to better explain subsidies and what you may expect in financial assistance. Based on their analysis, “about 48 percent of adults’ currently purchasing coverage for themselves will be eligible for subsidies next year.” That is an average of $5,548 per family—some receiving more than others, some less. Subsidies are also based on an age curve, the younger the individual, the lesser the subsidy. Also, people earning more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($46,000 for a single person or $94,000 for a family of four) will not be eligible for a subsidy. Individuals who have coverage through their employer or are on government health plans will also not be eligible for a subsidy next year. Although the estimated average subsidy ($5,548) will cover a significant 67 percent of the average family plan.

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