Open Enrollment Extended: Mid-April Extension and Special Enrollment
An ObamaCare extension has been announced that extend open enrollment until mid-April for those who signed up, but did not enroll in a health plan. People were able to check a box that says they had trouble signing up and were granted an ObamaCare deadline extension allowing them a a special enrollment period where they could enroll in a plan up until April 19th, 2014.
Starting April 19th, 2014 the only way to be granted an extension outside of open enrollment is to contact the call center and request one, or apply online. Extensions are only given for certain qualifying life events and allow access to a special enrollment period.
NOTE: This extension to mid-april only applied to open enrollment 2014, moving forward the only way to get covered outside open enrollment is through special enrollment. See our open enrollment 2015 page for getting coverage during this years enrollment period which started November 15th, 2014 and ends February 15th, 2014. We will report on any extensions for 2015 open enrollment as they are announced.
ObamaCare Extension 2014 and Beyond
The mid-April extension was only for open enrollment 2014, however you may still qualify for an ongoing extension for a special enrollment period due to certain qualifying life events if you miss open enrollment.
Open enrollment in the health insurance marketplace ended on March 31st, 2014 but due to the “ObamaCare Extension” you were able to enroll until mid-April by checking a box signifying you had issues enrolling in a plan. This option is only for those who already have a marketplace account.
ObamaCare Extension Rules
You were able to claim the ObamaCare extension by checking a box that says you had issues enrolling in a plan. You must have already signed up for the marketplace to claim this exemption. The exemption relied on an honor system, there will be no audit to check whether or not you had actually tried to enroll in a plan before March 31st. Requests for a special enrollment period after mid-April have more stringent guidelines.
The new exemption relies on “self-attestation”, in other words as long as you signed up it will be your duty to click the box only if you actually had issues enrolling in a health plan, although no one will be questioning you or checking to see if you tell the truth.
ObamaCare Special Enrollment Periods
Special enrollment periods are written into the law and are common among all types of insurance. They are meant to give those in “certain life circumstances” the ability to enroll in a plan outside of open enrollment. You can learn more about other ObamaCare’s other special enrollment periods here.
Call the healthcare.gov call center now to see if you qualify: 1-800-318-2596. TTY: 1-855-889-4325. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Reason Behind the ObamaCare Enrollment Exemption
The ObamaCare enrollment exemption was announced due to the heavy surge of last minute traffic to healthcare.gov. The point of the program is now and has always been to make sure people are covered. There is a fear that the overwhelming amount of folks trying to sign up and enroll at the last minute could leave a small portion unable to sign up for the marketplace. The temporary extension allowed those who wait until the last minute about two weeks to ensure the enrollment process was completed.
Sign Up for ObamaCare During Open Enrollment
You need to sign up for health coverage during open enrollment each year. Requesting an extension beyond this point will require requesting a special exemption from the health insurance marketplace’s call center. If your State is operating it’s own marketplace these same rules may not apply. Sign up for ObamaCare today.
Remember the ObamaCare Deadline Extension only applied to those who signed up for a marketplace account before March 31st, 2014. To qualify for special enrollment you must have previously had insurance or become eligible to be insured within the past 60 days. Find your state’s marketplace now.