Shea-Porter, Kuster Introduce Continuous Coverage Fix to ACA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Ben Wakana – 202-225-5456
WASHINGTON, DC – New Hampshire Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) have introduced legislation to extend the payment deadline for people who were unable to complete the health insurance sign-up process because of website difficulties and processing delays. The Coverage Protection Act of 2013 would ensure that Granite Staters who encountered difficulties signing up for insurance through Healthcare.gov receive retroactive insurance coverage during the month of January.
“It’s inexcusable that Healthcare.gov wasn’t up and running properly on October 1,” Shea-Porter said. “But this bill will correct some issues by permitting retroactive coverage for individuals who could not complete the application process online.”
“There is no question that the problems with Healthcare.gov have been completely unacceptable. But instead of undermining efforts to solve problems, we should focus on moving forward and finding common sense solutions,” Kuster said. “This bill would ensure that Granite Staters who were unable to sign up for coverage because of problems with Healthcare.gov will have access to the health insurance plans they need by the beginning of next year. I’ll keep fighting to make sure that New Hampshire families get the care they deserve.”
The announcement of the Coverage Protection Act of 2013 comes following news that most insurers, including Anthem in New Hampshire, will accept payments through January 10th for health coverage that starts January 1. Shea-Porter and Kuster’s legislation would provide retroactive insurance coverage to Jan. 1, 2014, for individuals who attempt to enroll and who pay their premium by Jan. 31, 2014. In doing so, the bill ensures that people who encountered technical difficulties are not discriminated against because they don’t yet have their insurance card.
This bill is not a free ride. It offers accountability on all sides by requiring enrollees to have made an effort to enroll in an exchange plan in time to receive coverage on January 1 and pay their premiums and any applicable cost-sharing fees by January 31.
Additional original cosponsors include Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), and Rep. Ron Barber (AZ-02).