Group Wants Extension for Open Enrollment for Individuals

Chairman of Communicating for America, Jeff Smedsrud is calling on President Obama to extend the health exchange open enrollment period for individuals, which is set to end on March 31. Individuals who miss the deadline generally can’t enroll until the next open enrollment period, which begins November 15, 2014.

Smedsrud wants the open enrollment period to be extended until May 15, 2014. Individuals who don’t find suitable coverage by then should be encouraged to enroll in a short-term medical plan. Although there are some coverage limitations with short-term medical plans, they are available from a variety of companies in every state for at least a six-month duration, he said.

Smedsrud added that the Administration has given businesses more time by delaying certain mandates, and has given insurers more time by letting companies change certain policy cancellations. “It’s not the fault of consumers that state and federal exchanges had technical problems upon the roll-out, nor are they to blame for ongoing problems with billing, collection and verification, making it difficult to know… if they have coverage. And it is not the consumer’s fault that millions of health policies were cancelled…Don’t make individuals suffer for mistakes made by institutions.”

Smedsrud is calling the Administration to take three actions:
1. Extend the open enrollment period until May 15.
2. Delay the start date for the individual mandate penalty until May 15.
3. Allow short-term medical plans purchased in 2014 to meet the definition of credible coverage, thus allowing those enrolled in such plans to switch at any time during 2014 to a more comprehensive plan under Special Enrollment rules.

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Last Updated 08/10/2022

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