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Affordable Care Act

Finalizing standards for Health Insurance Navigators – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a proposed rule outlining the standards for Navigators, the in-person assisters in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. Navigators will provide unbiased information to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. CMS will ensure that all consumers who need Marketplace customer service can receive it from trained professionals. Navigators will provide accurate and impartial assistance to consumers shopping for coverage in the new Marketplace, including consumers who are not familiar with health insurance, have limited English proficiency, or are living with a disability. The final rule also outlines the standards for certified application counselors to ensure that they provide quality, sound, consumer-protective assistance. Read the full story: Finalizing policies to ensure Navigators will help consumers enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Remember open enrollment in the Marketplace began Oct. 1, 2013, with coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2014. Access the final rule.  To learn more about helping consumers apply and enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace, click here.

Obama Administration Simplifies, Significantly Shortens Application for Health Insurance – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the application for health coverage has been simplified and significantly shortened. The application for individuals without health insurance has been reduced from twenty-one (21) to three (3) pages.  The application for families is reduced by two-thirds. The consumer friendly forms are much shorter than industry standards for health insurance applications today.  For the first time consumers will be able to fill out one simple application and see their entire range of health insurance options.   The online version of the application will be a dynamic experience that shortens the application process based on individuals’ responses. This consumer-focused approach will facilitate the enrollment of millions of Americans into affordable, high quality coverage while minimizing the administrative burden on states, individuals and health plans.  The new application is one more step toward meeting the promise of helping millions of Americans access quality, affordable health coverage.  Read the full press release.  Learn more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace. The application, which can be submitted starting on October 1, can be found on The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.