Federal Exchange Plans to Automatically Renew in 2015 Under Proposed Rule

HHS has issued a proposed rule for health insurance standards for the next enrollment period, including a provision that states those who previously signed up for coverage through the federal exchange will be automatically re-enrolled in coverage for 2015.

More than 8 million people have purchased health insurance plans through state-based and federally facilitated exchanges, and HHS' proposed rule will apply to most of the 5 million people who purchased insurance through HealthCare.gov for 2014, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

HHS said it would allow roughly 95 percent of people who purchased coverage through HealthCare.gov to be automatically re-enrolled in their current plan. Under the proposed rule, premium subsidies that consumers obtained through the exchanges will also be automatically renewed.

Automatic enrollment would help relieve pressure on the federal exchange and provide security for big insurers that enrolled a large number of people in 2014. However, automatic enrollment could present problems, as consumers will still need to update their tax credit eligibility information, according to the report.

The automatic enrollment provision could also put smaller insurers that had intended to compete for consumers in the next enrollment period at a disadvantage.

HHS will be taking comments for 30 days before issuing a final rule.

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