Policy

Senators, Staff Told Not to Enroll in Obamacare Exchanges Yet

A memo to Senate employees circulated late Monday is telling members and staff not to sign up for health care benefits with the new Obamacare exchanges until they receive more guidance.

"As the [Office of Personnel Management] Regulations are not final and we are awaiting further information, Members and staff are advised that they should delay enrolling in health insurance plans until we are able to offer further guidance as to how they should enroll in these insurance plans for 2014," the Senate Disbursing Office said in an email blast obtained by CQ Roll Call. "Premature enrollment could adversely impact eligibility for the employer premium contribution."

Staffers in both parties have many unanswered questions about how the health care law's requirements that they purchase health care through the exchanges are implemented. The exchanges are set to open to the public on Oct. 1.

There are several GOP-led efforts to prevent the OPM from paying a share of the insurance benefits to the exchange. Sen David Vitter, R-La., has been seeking an opportunity to offer an amendment to block the payment of the employer contributions, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is exploring the possibility of filing a lawsuit.

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