CMS simplifies ACA health insurance application

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 13, 2013

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced April 30 that it was simplifying the process to apply for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

“Consumers will have a simple, easy-to-understand way to apply for health coverage later this year,” said acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “This is another step to complete as we get ready for a consumer-friendly marketplace that will be open for business later this year.”

Under the new changes, an individual applying for insurance will have to fill out only three pages instead of 21, CMS stated. Applications for families have been shortened significantly as well. “The consumer-friendly forms are much shorter than industry standards for health insurance applications today,” according to the agency.

In filling out these applications, CMS said consumers can see “their entire range of health insurance options,” including Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, plans in the state health insurance exchanges and federal subsidies that would help pay for premiums.

Consumers can apply online, by phone or on paper when open enrollment begins Oct. 1.

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