What to Do if You Missed the Deadline For Open Enrollment 2018

Here is a list of things you can do if you missed the Dec. 15 deadline for ObamaCare’s open enrollment 2018 in the health insurance marketplace.

In some cases missing the deadline, but meeting specific criteria, will qualify you for a short special enrollment window (a sort of extension of the open enrollment deadline). In other cases, extensions are offered to everyone.

  • Some states extended their deadline or allow customers to file for extensions. See a list of those states below.
  • If you signed up for the Marketplace but didn’t complete the enrollment process, you might get a few extra days to complete enrollment in some states. See state extensions from 2015 for example.
  • If you had trouble signing up or had a plan from last year, you’ll need to attest that your trouble signing-up was due to a website or call center problem. You may be granted a short special enrollment period in this case.
  • If you applied for Medicaid or CHIP during open enrollment but got rejected from Medicaid or CHIP after open enrollment, the denial may qualify you for a special enrollment period.
  • You may qualify for Special Enrollment due to qualifying life events even if we didn’t expressly state your situation above. Contact an insurance agent outside the Marketplace, or go to HealthCare.Gov or your state’s marketplace now.
  • Enrollment has ended, but the federal marketplace sometimes extends the deadline after the fact, so you can wait for news on that (this happened every year so far, but with Trump in office, this could change this year).
  • To the last point, there is a chance that the requirement to get covered will end this year and that short-term health insurance will be expanded. If this is the case, people may have options for coverage and avoid the fee in 2018 even if they missed open enrollment.

Meanwhile, if none of the above apply to you:

  • If you are between enrollment periods and have lost coverage for reasons other than non-payment, or if you have a life change like getting married, you may qualify for special enrollment.
  • If you don’t qualify for special enrollment, don’t have coverage, and are in-between enrollment periods then options are generally limited to short term health insurance, Medicaid/CHIP, employer coverage (for example if you are starting a new job), and Medicare (for example if you are turning 65).

We will learn more after open enrollment ends. It is unclear if Trump’s administration will be offering extensions beyond the state-based ones listed below. If they do they, we will be the first to update you.

IMPORTANT: According to the HealthCare.Gov Twitter: If you call 1-800-318-2596 and leave your name and number it seems you will be granted an exemption to the Dec. 15 deadline. Do this ASAP (on December 16th) if you want coverage!

State Specific deadlines for open enrollment 2018:[1][2]

  • Connecticut (Nov 1, 2017 – Dec. 22, 2017)
  • Colorado (Nov 1, 2017 – Jan. 12, 2018)
  • Maryland (Nov 1, 2017 – Dec. 22, 2017)
  • New York (Nov 1, 2017 – Jan. 31, 2018)
  • Massachusetts (Nov 1, 2017 – Jan. 23, 2018)
  • Washington (Nov. 1, 2017 – Jan 15, 2018)
  • California (Nov 1, 2017 – Jan. 12, 2018)
  • Minnesota (Nov 1, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018)
  • Connecticut (Nov 1, 2017 – Jan. 31, 2018)
  • District of Columbia (Nov.1, 2017 – Jan. 31, 2018)
  • Rhode Island (Nov 1, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017)
  • *Flordia, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and those effected by Hurricane Harvey are eligible for an extension until Dec. 31, 2017.

Idaho and Vermont were legally permitted to extend open enrollment. However, we did not hear any updates on those states.

TIP: If you enroll during extended enrollment in the above states your coverage will likely not start until February 1st. You have to enroll before the 15th of the month to get coverage that starts on the 1st of the following month. However, it is possible that people who enroll before Dec. 22 in states with a Dec. 22 deadline will see their plans start on Jan. 1. Make sure to check with the marketplace when you enroll for specifics.

Article Citations
  1. States That Have Extended Health Insurance Open Enrollment for 2018 (and States That Still Can)
  2. Andy Slavitt Twitter

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele is the head writer and founder of ObamaCareFacts.com, FactsOnMedicare.com, and other websites. He has been in the health insurance and healthcare information field since 2012. ObamaCareFacts.com is a...

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So although a short-term plan might work in a pinch to get you through until the next open enrollment period, you ll want to carefully read the fine print before you apply for a plan.


I don’t have a comment on this, I simply need assistance in getting health insurance for myself. I live with my parents since my job ended and I am 27. Do you have anything that will help me get help?


*Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and those effected by Hurricane Harvey are eligible for an extension until Dec. 31, 2017.
Unfortunately, this does not seem to be true in Florida! Called this morning regarding this extension. First person I spoke to had no idea what I was referring too. I forced the issue and was “escalated” however I was still denied an extension to enroll. So much for that! Thanks TRUMP & Gov. Scott!

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