Congressional Staffers Warned Not to Assume They Have Healthcare Coverage

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 06:41 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Senate employees are being cautioned not to take for granted that they have healthcare coverage even if they signed up through the District of Columbia insurance exchange, Fox News reports.

"Please do not assume you are covered unless you have seen the Confirmation Letter from the Disbursing Office!" the Senate Disbursing Office warned in an email Wednesday. The message continued, "Do not rely on your 'My Account' page or other correspondence" from the exchange as proof of coverage.

Dan Strodel, the chief administrative officer of the House, said he was also aware of "significant problems" that had prevented enrollment through the DC Health Link exchange. He has asked the Office of Personnel Management to take "immediate steps" to ensure that House lawmakers and staff are able to sign up.

The DC Health Link is not administered by the federal HealthCare.gov website. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday in testimony on Capitol Hill that the Obamcare site is "working faster, responding more quickly" and handling "larger volumes of concurrent users."

However, Fox New reported that the cueing system of the federal site briefly crashed on Wednesday.

Congressional Staffers will continue to have their current Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage until the end of January even if they were unable to sign up for new plans under Obamacare that take effect Jan. 1. Other Capitol Hill employees who do not work directly for a lawmaker are able to retain coverage under their old federal benefits package.

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