CMS Releases Final Open Enrollment Numbers
11.8 million consumers enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final report published on April 3, 2018. This is a slight decrease from the 12.2 million consumers who enrolled in 2017. The largest portion of consumers were returning from the previous enrollment period. The demographics show the average consumer was between 35-54, chose a silver plan and paid an average $153 premium after receiving advance premium tax credits (APTCs). In Pennsylvania, 389,081 individuals enrolled in coverage for 2018, down 9% from 426,059 in 2017. See the CMS Final Report.
TIPS for Handling PII
Refugee Medical Assistance
In Pennsylvania, Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) provides the same level of benefit to individuals as Medicaid and is considered part of thePennsylvania Medicaid program, though it is funded differently. RMA provides basic health care to those recently-arrived who do not qualify for other federally-funded Medicaid programs in order to encourage their rapid move toward economic self-sufficiency. The RMA application process officially begins on the date of application: that is, the date the application for benefits (PA 600) is complete, signed in at least one location, and received by the county assistance office (CAO). In most areas of the state, the refugee or resettlement agency (RA) assists in the completion the PA 600 and faxes, emails, or submits it via COMPASS. RMA applicants will need to provide verification of required non-financial and financial eligibility, proof of refugee or other qualifying immigration status, date of entry to the U.S. (for asylees, date asylum was granted; for victims of trafficking, certification date); and name of his/her voluntary RA. See the Department of Human Services Refugee Assistance Program Memo for more information.
Marketplace Consumer Tax Questions Answered
Tax season is upon us and consumers may be coming to you to ask questions about their 1095-A, the cost of the penalty and how to request an exemption for lack of coverage in 2017. This chart will assist you with directing consumers to the appropriate expert for these complex questions. Remember, assisters should not be providing tax advice or help, but should refer consumers to the IRS or their local tax preparer.