Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


ACA Exchange Open Enrollment Period Comes to a Close

11.4 million people had enrolled or re-enrolled in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange when the second health insurance exchange open enrollment period ended on February 15. The White House had previously stated that its enrollment target was 9.9 million people. The number of enrollees will only continue to increase as the Administration extended the enrollment deadline by an additional week for people who started their applications but did not complete the entire enrollment process. Last year, a total of 8 million people enrolled in the exchanges, with 6.7 million of these people paying their premiums by August. This year, officials estimate that a total of 9.1 million enrollees will pay their premiums and maintain health insurance coverage through 2015. The Administration also announced plans to provide another enrollment period for those who have not yet complied with the individual mandate. This year’s tax season marks the first time people will be forced to pay a fine for not having insurance. Anyone who was uninsured last year will pay the higher of 1 percent of annual household income or $95 per person. The special enrollment period from March 15 to April 30 will provide as many as 6 million people who will pay the tax penalty this year the opportunity to buy health insurance so as to avoid a penalty next year. The fee for individuals who don’t have coverage in 2015 is the higher of 2 percent of annual household income or $325 per person.

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