Flag of the United States Department of Health and Human Services

Baring a last second deal, funding for the federal government will run out at midnight on Tuesday, October 1.  Not coincidentally, that is the date that the health care Exchanges mandated under the Affordable Care Act will begin to accept enrollments from the public.  With a government operating on minimal resources but running Exchanges in 34 states, what can associations expect these Exchanges to look like beginning tomorrow? Politico provides a preview in today’s issue but here are some of the highlights:

  • Most of the funding for the Exchanges is mandatory spending, so they are not reliant on annually appropriated money.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has indicated in their shut-down plan that the Exchanges are deemed essential due to legal advice that activities can be kept running that “do not rely on annual appropriations, and activities that involve the safety of human life and protection of property”.
  • State Exchanges will run as planned but some states have expressed concern that there will be a delay in receiving eligibility data from the federal government.