The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently announced that as a result of certain repairs made to the federal health insurance marketplace website, HealthCare.gov, insurers and brokers should soon be able to offer the same federally subsidized health plans available on HealthCare.gov.
Although a number of private insurance marketplace companies entered into agreements with CMS earlier this year to offer direct enrollment in qualified health plans, the technical problems affecting the HealthCare.gov website have created delays, as insurers and brokers have experienced difficulties with being redirected through the HealthCare.gov website during the enrollment process. Consequently, consumers have been able to enroll with private insurers without using HealthCare.gov, but so far have been unable to retain the federal subsidies that make the plans affordable for them.
The fixes to the website now allow consumers’ federal subsidy information to be transmitted in a manner that facilitates usage by insurers and brokers. However, it should be noted that CMS has also stated that certain website repairs relevant to the direct enrollment process remain unfinished at this time, including the process that permits the government and insurers to agree on which consumers are enrolled in which plans.