Open Enrollment Extensions For ObamaCare
Each year there are extensions for state marketplaces, extensions for certain circumstances, and may even be extensions to open enrollment for the federal marketplace Healthcare.gov.
Types of Extensions under the ACA For 2021 and Beyond
The following are the basic types of extensions that may be offered each year.
- An extension of open enrollment in the federal and/or state marketplaces (some states have extended deadlines each year; check your state’s deadline for this year or see the list below).
- A short extension for those who had trouble enrolling.
- A special enrollment period outside of open enrollment depending on certain qualifying life events like moving (depending on the type of life event you may have a different length window in which to enroll).
- Extensions of filing healthcare-related tax forms (applicable in states that still have mandates).
How to find out if there was an extension: We always note extensions on our website, but they can change each year and differ by state. If you don’t qualify for open enrollment, the best way to find out if there was an extension for open enrollment this year is to call HealthCare.gov or your state marketplace and ask.
ObamaCare State-Specific Deadlines
Some states have state-specific deadlines each year. We will list them when they are published, make sure to check your state’s health insurance website for details.
NOTE: Below are the expected extension dates based on 2021 open enrollment. We will update the list for the current year as official deadlines are announced and/or changed.
- California: October 15, 2020 through January 31, 2021. This a permanent extension.
- Colorado: November 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021. This a permanent extension.
- Connecticut: November 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021.
- Idaho: November 1, 2020 through Dember 31, 2020.
- Massachusetts: November 1, 2020 through January 23, 2021. This a permanent extension.
- Minnesota: November 1, 2020 through December 22, 2020.
- Nevada: November 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021.
- New Jersey: November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021.
- New York: November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021.
- Pennsylvania: November 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021.
- Rhode Island: October 15, 2020 through December 31, 2021.
- Washington DC: November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. This a permanent extension.
When Will Coverage Start With Extended Enrollment? In general, if you enroll after December 15th your coverage will start February 1st, and if you enroll after February 15th your coverage will generally start March 1st. With that said, some states who extend enrollment will have different rules. For example, in Idaho, if you enroll by December 31st your plan starts January 1st. Meanwhile, in California, enrolling after January 15th means your coverage won’t start until March 1st. Check your state’s health insurance website for details.
Where Can I find my state’s ObamaCare website? All state websites can be found through HealthCare.Gov’s home page. When you got the site you’ll get to pick your state. If your state has its own exchange, you’ll be taken to it.
Other states may be subject to extension as well. States with state-run exchanges can issue last-minute extensions, and the federal government can issue an extension for all states using the federal marketplace as well.
TIP: If you enroll in coverage before the 15th of a given month of open enrollment, coverage starts by the 1st of the next month. If you enroll after coverage starts, your coverage will begin on the 1st of the month after. Thus, those who enroll at the last minute in January will have coverage that starts March 1st. Luckily we all get a “short coverage gap” exemption. “Missing the December 15th deadline” means “your coverage won’t start until February 1st.” Need to do this quick? We suggest an HSA eligible silver plan as a rule of thumb (get more tips for health plans here). Remember to sign up and enroll; just signing up isn’t enough.
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 its own marketplace these same rules may not apply. Sign up for ObamaCare today.