The Obama administration will postpone the start of Obamacare enrollment for 2015 coverage from Oct. 15, 2014, to Nov. 15, 2014, a Department of Health and Human Services official confirmed to TPM.
The move was first reported by Bloomberg, which portrayed the postponement as giving insurers more time to set their rates for next year. The official told TPM that the 2015 rate filing deadline for insurers, which is currently the end of April 2014, would be moved to the end of May.
“This change is good news for consumers, who will have more time to learn about plans before enrolling and an open enrollment period that’s a week longer,” the official told TPM in an email.
The end of the 2015 enrollment period will also be extended from Dec. 7, 2014, to Jan. 15, 2015.
As Bloomberg noted, the delay could accomplish two other goals.
One would be setting the stage for extending the current open enrollment beyond March 31, 2014. Insurers had warned that an extension could cause premiums to rise because they’d have to file rates for 2015 before they would know who was in their plans and their actuarial risk. But extending the filing deadline could help to assuage those concerns.
A group of 10 Democratic senators has urged the administration to postpone the 2014 enrollment period, though administration officials have insisted that they are not considering the change.
The other would be potentially preventing any premium increases from being revealed to consumers until after the 2014 elections. Administration officials told TPM that the delay was not politically motivated, but said that a delay of the filing period required a postponement of the enrollment period.