On Track for Enrollment Goal, 1.4 Million Consumers Select Plans on Healthcare.gov

Leading up to yesterday’s deadline to sign up for Marketplace coverage beginning January 1, HHS released enrollment reports that indicate, according to experts at Kaiser Health News, that Marketplaces are on track to exceed this year’s 9 million enrollment goal put forth by the Obama Administration. Nearly 1.4 million individuals selected a plan on Healthcare.gov between November 15 and December 5, with the breakdown roughly split between new (48%) and returning (52%) enrollees. HHS also noted that plan selections for the week of November 29 – December 5 were 33% higher than the first week.

CMS Proposes Changes to Ensure Same-Sex Couples are Afforded Equal Rights in Medicaid and Medicare Facilities

In light of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, CMS issued a proposed rule outlining a number of policy revisions that would afford same-sex marriages equal treatment as opposite-sex marriages in Medicaid and Medicare facilities. The rule suggests revisions to conditions of participation, conditions of coverage, and other requirements that currently could be interpreted as denying federal rights and privileges to same-sex spouses. The revisions address spousal rights such as legal representation, informed consent, and discontinuation of care in a variety of facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory surgical care centers, hospice care, and long-term care centers.