BOSTON – The uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has created new dangers for insurers and policyholders alike, and the Massachusetts Well being Connector and different state-based medical insurance marketplaces are asking the federal authorities to step in and mitigate these dangers.
Massachusetts Well being Connector Authority Government Director Louis Gutierrez joined together with his counterparts from New Jersey, Minnesota, Maryland, Oregon, the District of Columbia, Nevada, Rhode Island, California, Washington, Connecticut, Colorado, Vermont and Pennsylvania to ship a pair of letters outlining requested coverage modifications they are saying would assist COVID-19 response efforts.
Market representatives stated they’ve taken steps to “be certain that tens of millions of Individuals may keep or purchase protection” regardless of the pandemic’s financial disruption, together with opening up particular enrollment durations that give newly unemployed employees who misplaced their insurance coverage and others with out protection an opportunity to enroll.
The Well being Connector’s COVID-19 particular enrollment interval will stay open till June 23, Gutierrez stated throughout a Thursday assembly of the authority’s board. Greater than 13,000 folks have entered Well being Connector Protection by that program thus far, he stated.
“We’ll proceed to evaluate the actions of different states, the federal authorities, and work in live performance with MassHealth as we study whether or not additional extensions are wanted,” Gutierrez stated.
He stated the Connector’s small group enrollment “stays regular at 8,498.”
“Whereas progress has slowed significantly because the pandemic began, we predict it’s awfully excellent news that enrollment has stayed as sturdy because it has provided that small enterprise has confronted a really tough interval through which to function,” he stated.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Inner Income Service Commissioner Charles Rettig, the group warns that taxpayers who obtain advance premium tax credit for market medical insurance “danger substantial surprising tax legal responsibility” as a result of “the COVID disaster makes earnings prediction not possible for a lot of taxpayers.” The letter asks that the IRS and the Treasury present reduction for APTC reimbursement, and announce it “as quickly as potential to rapidly get rid of any disincentive to enroll as a consequence of worry of reimbursement.”
A second letter, to U.S. Home and Senate management, additionally asks for flexibility round APTCs, together with federal funding for reinsurance applications and enhanced federal subsidies for shoppers buying well being protection.
The group stated subsidies “will allow entry to wanted well being providers resembling COVID-19 testing and therapy — important to assist open our economic system.”
— to www.lowellsun.com