Members of Congress may have tried to carve themselves out of some of the harm from Obamacare, but it seems they will still end up suffering the pain of uncertainty and waiting.
The chief administrative officer for the House sent a letter to staffers on Wednesday telling them that while the Office of Personnel Management has ruled members of Congress can continue to collect government subsidies to pay for their health care in the new exchanges, the details are still being worked out.
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And that could mean the lawmakers and their staffs aren’t able to sign up when the exchanges, or state-based insurance markets, open Oct. 1.
“Members and staff are advised that although state and federal healthcare exchanges created under the ACA will open for enrollment on October 1st, it will not be possible to confirm plan options, costs, benefits, or which House staff will be affected until OPM issues final regulations, which could very well be after the exchanges have already opened,” the House administrative office said.
“However, please be assured that from the day the OPM final rule is issued until the open enrollment period closes, our benefits counselors will work tirelessly to ensure there is no gap in coverage,” the administrative office said.
Under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, members of Congress and staffers in their personal offices will no longer be eligible for their existing federal health insurance, and will have to choose from plans offered on the exchanges. But the Obama administration ruled earlier this summer that the lawmakers and staffers will still be able to keep the government subsidies that pay their premiums.