COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of the world we are living in and enrollment is not exempt from the impact. Here are some actions that do or will have an effect on enrollment:
- State Waiver Request for Reduction of Administrative Burden. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) submitted an 1135 Waiver to ease some of the administrative burden and procedures for Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP in Pennsylvania, tapping into the authority and temporary flexibility given when a disaster and public health emergency are declared.
- County Assistance Offices (CAOs). CAOs are closed to the public but operating. CAOs do not currently have a policy for telework. Staff shifts have been adjusted and staggered to allow processing of applications to continue.
- Marketplace Open Enrollment. Last week, Gov. Wolf sent a formal letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting the federal marketplace,Healthcare.gov, be re-opened to individuals who are uninsured or underinsured in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Other states have joined the push for this administration to make significant changes to allow for additional enrollment opportunities. In addition, nine states, who operate their own state-based Marketplaces, have issued special enrollment periods with some ending as late as June for uninsured consumers.
- Enrollment Assistance. Navigators, Certified Application Counselors and enrollment assisters are permitted to assist consumers remotely and virtually, permitted prior consent is obtained in accordance with CMS Guidance. Questions, contact Tia Whitaker, Statewide Director for Outreach and Enrollment at the Pennsylvania Association for Primary Care.