According to this article from WSJ, health insurance exchanges are falling behind schedule, and there is a risk that they won’t be ready to open in time by October.
There are multiple news organizations that are commenting on the two reports from the Government Accountability Office.
“Whether [the government’s] contingency planning will assure the timely and smooth implementation of the exchanges by October 2013 cannot yet be determined,” said the GAO in twin reports released Wednesday.
The report states that the exchanges are about 44% behind meeting key milestones of establishing the exchanges. So what does that mean for Indianapolis?
It has been predicted that about 900,000 Hoosiers will benefit from getting their Insurance from the Federal Facilitated Exchange. The way the exchange would work is that people who do not have access to affordable group benefits could apply for advance tax credits or subsidies. These subsidies would pay a portion of the health insurance premium thus bringing down the cost of health Insurance in the Individual market.
If you make under 400% of Federal Poverty level then you could qualify for subsidies. A single person making less than $45,960, or a family of four making less than $94,200 will qualify. Looking at those numbers, there are a lot of Hoosiers that can benefit from these subsidies.
It has already been announced that there will be a delay in the full establishment of the small group exchange plans, also known as SHOP. What is going to be offered to small groups under 50 employees is the option of purchasing your group health insurance through the exchange. For groups under 25 employees that meet certain requirements, there will be tax credits available. These tax credits could be very valuable in a company that is planning on keeping a group health plan.
If the exchanges are not up and running in October, it could result in many Hoosiers being delayed from enrolling online. Here is what Nefouse & Associates is willing to do if the online enrollments are delayed.
We will go back to paper applications. We will use the paper application that has been established to apply for subsidies. We will send that application by snail mail to the government and follow up with them to make sure it’s being processed. Once processed, then we have you apply for the individual health insurance policy from a carrier like Anthem that we know will be in the exchange. We will follow up with both the carrier and the government to make sure our clients are able to take full advantage of the new law.