Ever since the PPACA was first being discussed, the individual mandate has been touted as a buffer to protect health insurance carriers – and in turn, policyholders – from adverse selection that would otherwise certainly occur in a guaranteed issue individual market. It seemed that as long as people were required to maintain health insurance coverage, adverse selection would be minimized and people would be unlikely to purchase health insurance only during periods of sickness. But there was still enough concern about adverse selection that HHS issued a proposal for open enrollment periods in the individual market starting next year. This proposal was released at the end of November, and the specific details regarding the open enrollment period are on page 70595 of this Federal Register.
To sum it up, they’re proposing an initial open enrollment period for individual/family health insurance that starts in October 2013 and runs through the end of March, 2014 (a six month window in order to accommodate the large influx of initial applications), and then open enrollment periods that mirror Medicare’s: October 15th until December 7th each year. Beyond that window, only “qualifying event” applications would be allowed for […]