Few take advantage of special ACA enrollment so far

As of March 29, about 36,000 uninsured Americans had used the federally run insurance exchange to sign up for a health plan during a special Affordable Care Act enrollment period. The special enrollment period for people who would otherwise owe a penalty for remaining uninsured is open through the end of April, and experts expect there may be a surge in interest as more people file their taxes. The Hill (4/1)

HHS, states consider special ACA enrollment period

HHS will decide within the next two weeks whether to open a special health insurance enrollment period for people who discover they owe a tax penalty for remaining uninsured, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said. Minnesota and Washington state have extended open enrollment through the tax filing period, and California, Kentucky and New York are considering special enrollment periods. Reuters (2/18), USA Today (2/18)

Some taxpayers will get special ACA open enrollment period

Uninsured tax filers in states using the federal exchange who were unaware they would be penalized for not having health insurance will get another chance to enroll, the Obama administration announced. The special enrollment period will be from March 15 to April 30. The IRS is also sending new forms to about 800,000 tax filers to correct subsidy errors. Reuters (2/20), The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/Wonkblog (2/20)

Income changes re-open ACA plan enrollment opportunities

Changes in income after open enrollment ends under the Affordable Care Act are considered among the special circumstances under which people may change insurance plans. If eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing subsidies changes during the plan year, enrollees have 60 days to switch plans. Kaiser Health News (4/25)

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.

For more information, visit http://communicatingforamerica.org

Last Updated 09/22/2021

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