What’s the Scarlet Letter Law?

January 28, 2016

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On June 17, 2015, Texas passed Bill 1514, which requires HealthCare.gov insurance cards to be marked with code QHP and HealthCare.gov insurance cards with subsidies to be marked QHP-S. This is colloquially known as “The Scarlet Letter Law” due to its “branding” of the plan holder. Recently, it doesn’t matter if you bought your plan on HeathCare.gov or not; some carriers will include the code QHP on plans that are available on HealthCare.gov but purchased elsewhere.

Since people who buy insurance on HealthCare.gov have 90 days to cancel their plan without paying premiums, this often puts doctors in a tough spot for billing. The concern is that doctors could deny services to individuals with the QHP or QHP-S cards as a way to protect themselves.

If your doctor is contracted by your carrier and they deny you service because of your QHP/QHP-S code, you should report them to your carrier.