27 June 2014
November 15 - February 15 isn't just the season of giving anymore, at least by Santa Claus's calculations and whoever made Black Friday before Thanksgiving. It's also the 2014 - 2015 open enrollment period for health insurance.
That means families who would buy a Wii U might consider a Kaiser Permanente Silver plan instead. Well, Billy has been asking for a new kidney all year. But Dad wanted to be Greninja in the next Super Smash Bros. What's a good parent to do? Blame Obama, of course.
Critics believe the President is just doing his party a favor, since Democrats have a chance to win a majority in the Senate if they do well in 2014's mid-term elections. Democrats who supported Obamacare want to avoid Obamacare technical problems like last year's or health insurance "sticker shock" from turning off voters. Instead, they'd rather turn voters off by placing a Covered California booth where the North Pole goes in the Topanga Canyon Mall.
Open enrollment during the holidays just doesn't work for some people, especially the researchers at Health Affairs. A study suggested more Americans may buy health insurance during tax season, when the average refund is $3000 for income between $50,000 and $75,000, instead of the holiday season, when heating bills and Christmas gifts eat up expendable cash.
Obamacare's first open enrollment season was twice as long, giving consumers more time to choose a plan from October 1 to March 31. And just when it wasn't long enough, technical problems and customer confusion over deadlines led to deadline extensions to April 15.
Since the deadline cut into tax season, more people who just received their tax refund could afford health insurance. 52% of young invincibles (age 18-34), who typically earn less than older adults, picked a plan and 47% of people who signed up for subsidized health insurance did so in the last month of open enrollment.
So the solution to extending open enrollment to tax season is to act confused? Perfect, considering you're probably still wondering why Pokemon are mentioned in a Covered California blog.