What We're Reading: ACA Deadline Extended for Consumers With Discontinued Plans

What we're reading, October 25, 2016: individuals with discontinued Obamacare plans will have a special enrollment period; Arizona governor orders limits on opioid prescriptions; and the FDA aims to speed up generic drug reviews.

Individuals who are currently enrolled in an Affordable Care Act plan that will be discontinued next year when the insurer leaves the market will have extra time to get coverage. People who lost their coverage can sign up as late as December 31 and still have coverage begin on January 1 if they can attest to the situation, reported The Wall Street Journal. However, if they miss that deadline, their special enrollment period doesn’t end until March 1—they will simply have a lapse in coverage. The Obama administration expects 13.8 million individuals to select plans for 2017.

In Arizona, the governor has ordered limits on opioid prescriptions in the state’s employee insurance plan and Medicaid plan. The Washington Times reported that the order would limit the initial prescription to just 7 days. In addition, a pre-approval will no longer be needed for people with state-provided insurance to be prescribed a drug used to treat recovering addicts.

The FDA is aiming to speed up the review process for generic drugs. According to Roll Call, the agency is committing to a 10-month review, but there would be an 8-month timeline for applications that could impact access or cost. For instance, drugs that could impact public health, address a drug shortage, or introduce generic competition to the market would be eligible for the accelerated timeline.