Why CMS called this NYT headline '100% wrong and irresponsible'

CMS lashed back at The New York Times for its headline on an article about a new federal policy, reports Advisory Board: "Can't Find a Plan on HealthCare.gov? One May Be Picked For You."

CMS spokesperson Aaron Albright told Advisory Board the headline is "100 percent wrong and irresponsible."

The New York Times article in question described a new federal policy designed to ensure consumers whose insurance carriers have left the Affordable Care Act marketplace maintain coverage in 2017. Under the program, federal exchanges will automatically suggest a new plan for enrollees affected by insurer exits — unless the enrollee selects a plan themselves or proactively opts out of exchange coverage.

Mr. Albright told Politico CMS took issue with the headline because it implied consumers would be enrolled in a new plan by the government without their consent.

"Consumers who are matched with an 'alternate plan' are not enrolled in coverage — they are not under any sort of contract and will not incur any charges or fees. A consumer is only enrolled if they choose to pay their first premium," Mr. Albright said.

ACA enrollees who do no wish to enroll in the federally suggested plan can either select another option, or simply not pay the premium to enroll.

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