HHS delays 2015 enrollment to … just past the midterm elections

posted at 10:01 am on November 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Guess who’s worrying about the 2014 midterms?  It’s not Republicans, but the White House. In a nonsense move, HHS has announced a one-month delay in 2015 open enrollments in the ObamaCare exchange, which will mean … nothing at all for the elections:

Health and Human Services plans to delay the start of the second year of Obamacare enrollment by one month to allow insurers more time to set rates after assessing their plan experiences during 2014, a department official said Thursday night.

The decision means that sign-ups for the 2015 plan year would begin on Nov. 15, 2014 and end on Jan. 15, 2015 instead of the Oct. 15-Dec. 7 window previously announced. The date change, first reported by Bloomberg, also lengthens the enrollment period by a week. Doing so would give companies more opportunity to account for individuals, particularly young adults, who come in late during the plan’s first year, which has gotten off to a rocky start. The goal is premiums that more accurately reflect costs for those insured.

The new calendar would move the start of the 2015 open enrollment season to shortly after the November midterm elections.

This is, of course, nonsense.  Insurers will have plenty of time to calculate their rates for 2015 based on their experiences in the first half of 2014, as they have every year they have been in business.  This is just a transparent attempt to push off major price increases created by an inability to convince younger consumers to buy comprehensive insurance they don’t need, which will force insurers to raise premiums sharply again in the next year to make up the costs of all the mandates imposed on them for 2014. Those costs and the participation rate for various demographics will be well known in time for an October enrollment.

However, this misses the real risk for the White House, which isn’t in the individual market in 2015.The people in that market will have been battered all year with higher premiums and ridiculous deductibles, and another round of escalation in both will only have a limited shock value.  The risk is in the employer-provided group market, where costs will either skyrocket or employees will get kicked out of their coverage and forced into the individual market.  Those decisions will come in the late summer or early fall, as businesses have to prepare 2015 budgets in those time frames.  By the time the standard October 1 open enrollment date hits for those consumers, the enormous impact of ObamaCare will be well known — even if they can’t access price information in the individual exchanges. When tens of millions of Americans get handed huge price increases or get pushed out of their group coverage altogether at that point, the outrage and political meltdown will dwarf whatever pricing changes take place in the individual markets.

This is a desperation move in more ways than one, and yet another example of the ignorance of private-sector strategic processes in the Obama administration.

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I feel like we are in ancient Rome.

What’s the law today? Is Bo going to be appointed to the Appellate Court?

PattyJ on November 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM

What’s the law today? Is Bo going to be appointed to the Appellate Court?

PattyJ on November 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM

And sad to say, Bo would probably produce wiser opinions than many of Ø’s other appointments, and most of those in Congress, especially Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

LibraryGryffon on November 22, 2013 at 6:12 PM

bluefox on November 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Like everyone on this site, I’m so tired of this crap. I did the best I could do and just sent this to both of Colorado’s Senators:

I see that you followed the lead of Harry Reid and voted to suspend 220 years of Senatorial tradition by invoking the nuclear option, which is odd considering the gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes by the Democrats in 2005 when the Repulicans considered invoking it.
And please spare me the “Obama has been filibustered more” meme. The same could be said of George Bush’s nominations.
I truly hope that it comes back to bite you, and I hope it bites you hard!

A government that lies to its own citizens should command no respect. To accord them any is to make oneself complicit in their lies, which is unbecoming to a free people.

lfwest on November 22, 2013 at 8:03 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised if they found a way to delay the group policy holders cancellation letters by a month or two.

trapeze on November 22, 2013 at 10:34 AM

I think that is the entire goal. First, push everything back a month. Do it publicly so everyone knows you’re giving people more time.

Then quietly push back the deadline for sending out letters by a month or two.

Then quietly add a substantial fine for sending them out too soon.

And the reason I think this is likely is because pushing back the enrollment doesn’t gain much of anything else. So it’s probably intended purely to help win the next election.

There Goes the Neighborhood on November 22, 2013 at 8:07 PM

What’s the law today? Is Bo going to be appointed to the Appellate Court?


Why, whatever the Democrats need it to be, of course …..

BD57 on November 22, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Won’t matter, as Voter’s Revenge will remove many of those who voted for the Obamacare mess anyway. We want them off our payroll.

Amazingoly on November 23, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Of all the scandals this administration is experiencing :
Fast and Furious
Shut Downs
What is the ONE thing that is different with HealthCare.gov?
The administration has no control over any of the others BUT they have 100% control over Healthcare.
They have effectively pushed all other scandals off the books. Who said it is a very complicated Web site? Surprise surprise it is the same people that said you can keep your policy. The same people that said it was good to go. The same people that said there is no security problems. It is the same people that have consistently lied and misdirected the public at every turn. So why do we believe them when they say it is very complicated?
What if this is just a set up to distract us from all other scandals and then in the 11th hour Obama and crew come up with the fix that works. They would have gotten rid of all the other scandals and become super heros to boot. All of which they could have done all along.
I can not put together a Web site like HealthCare.gov but I do know my way around a spreadsheet program. I think it would not take more then a day maybe two to set up the site that would work. Basic all that is being done is you filter through a few levels to get to the chart you need to look at. Here is how it goes.

1.What state are you in? 50

2.What County 3-??? depending on the first question

3.Individual Male, Individual Female
Family, or Small Business 4
4.Individual Insurance Companies charts for your state, county and your
1-?? In my state there are 3 companies.
The charts will have ages on one side and income on the other. Where they intercept is what you pay. You will have one chart for each insurance company.
Pick what you want and put in your order. 10% up front and 20% each quarter with the final 30 % if any after you file your tax return. What is so complicated about all that. The total program and charts can be downloaded on to your computer and would be about 2MB in size.

jpcpt03 on November 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM