Dem proposes testing automatic ObamaCare enrollment

Dem proposes testing automatic ObamaCare enrollment

Rep. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraDem, GOP groups prepare spending blitz for midterms Bipartisan group of lawmakers seeks rules changes under next Speaker By reversing course on Ebola funding, Trump brings compromise MORE (D-Calif.) is proposing to test automatically enrolling people in ObamaCare plans as a way to cut the uninsured rate.

Bera unveiled a bill that would give grants to states to set up pilot programs to automatically enroll eligible people in ObamaCare plans or Medicaid.

People would still have 60 days to opt-out if they wanted to, so they would not be forced to buy coverage, but Bera says the idea is that people are more likely to sign up if the default is to be signed up and they need to actively opt-out of coverage.

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Bera says some people who remain uninsured could be eligible for plans with $0 premiums after financial assistance.

The idea of auto-enrollment has gained some backing among Republicans, too. Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOutdated global postal system hurts US manufacturers GOP eyes another shot at ObamaCare repeal after McCain’s death Overnight Defense: Push to rename Senate building for McCain sparks GOP backlash | Pentagon has no plans to suspend future Korea war games | Mattis rejects plan to privatize Afghan War MORE (R-La.) proposed it as an alternative to ObamaCare’s mandate to buy coverage as part of his health-care reform efforts.

"Health insurance is complicated and people are busy,” Bera’s office said in a fact sheet on the plan. “Reducing complexity and making non-enrollment the onerous choice has been found to be both popular and effective. Opt-out enrollment in retirement plans boosted participation rates to 90% from just 33% using traditional enrollment.”

Bera, a doctor who has faced close elections in recent years and has worked with the centrist Problem Solvers Caucus in the House, also released a bill to change the dates of the ObamaCare enrollment period.

His bill proposes to move the date so enrollment ends on April 15, coinciding with the tax filing deadline, arguing that the current sign-up period, centered on December, discourages people from signing up if they are busy around the holiday season.