'Time is of the essence' to extend ACA subsidies, CMS administrator says

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said "time is of the essence" for Congress to extend ACA subsidies, MarketWatch reported June 22.

If the subsidies are not extended, more than 10 million people will see their premium tax credits reduced or lose them entirely, according to the report. About 3 million people could lose coverage. 

Ms. Brooks-LaSure said that CMS wants to make sure that people know the subsidies will be in place by the start of Nov. 1 open enrollment period, according to the report. 

If lawmakers act by midsummer, marketplaces and insurers would have time to prepare for the open enrollment period, according to the report. The process of setting rates has already started. 

Ms. Brooks-LaSure said that if Congress doesn't act until the start of the open enrollment period, the rate changes could cause confusion for those who are already signing up for coverage, according to the report. 

She said CMS will "pivot as quickly as we need to," but if congressional action doesn't come until the middle of open enrollment, "it would be so difficult for people to understand what was happening."

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