Congressional staff headed for enrollment in state exchange marketplace; some state and local government retirees could be next
Two types of government workers could end up getting health coverage through the state health benefit exchange marketplace. The first is members of Congress and their staffs as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The federal Office of Personnel Management issued a proposed rule this week that implements the requirement under which these individuals would use their existing employer contributions from the Federal Employees Health Benefits program to purchase exchange plans for coverage beginning in January 2014.
The other category is state and local government retirees who have not yet become eligible for Medicare. These early retirees could also end up in the exchanges as state and local governments struggle with ballooning deficits in retiree health funds that threaten their solvency. The prospect is the topic of recent articles by Bloomberg and Governing magazine. The apparent thinking is a fair number of these pensioners on relatively modest fixed incomes would qualify for advance income tax credits to help them purchase an exchange plan and wouldn’t have to undergo medical underwriting under individual market reforms that take effect in 2014.
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