The Center for Medicare Advocacy and the Medicare Rights Center recently issued a joint statement on the misguided decision of a federal court in Texas against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If this decision stands, all of the ACA’s coverage and consumer protections will be null and void. People with pre-existing conditions and those who are older or have disabilities will be especially at risk. Consumers should know that decision has no immediate effect, the ACA is still the law of the land, and they continue to have access to all comprehensive benefits. ACA-compliant plans must not deny coverage or charge more to consumers based on health status, and must cover all of the “essential benefits” defined in the law.
Although the federal Open Enrollment period officially ended on December 15, the below states have opted to give consumers more time to enroll in an ACA-compliant plan for 2019 through their state-run marketplaces (coverage effectiveness dates vary):
- California: January 15, 2019
- Colorado: January 15, 2019
- Connecticut: January 15, 2019
- District of Columbia: January 31, 2019
- Massachusetts: January 23, 2019
- Minnesota: January 13, 2019
- New York: January 31, 2019
- Rhode Island: December 31, 2018
- Vermont: December 21, 2018 (grace period for people who were not able to get through to the exchange during the final days of open enrollment due to high call volume)
- Washington: December 20, 2018 (grace period for people who were not able to enroll before the end of open enrollment)
We will be closely following the Texas court case as we expect it to be appealed to the Fifth Circuit and to the Supreme Court. We also call on the Administration once again to defend the ACA as the health and well-being of millions of Americans depend on it.