What are the enrollment deadlines for new health insurance policies? Can I still get a plan with a January 1 effective date?

December 26, 2013

Q.  What are the enrollment deadlines for new health insurance policies?  Can I still get a plan with a January 1 effective date?

A.  For applicants using Healthcare.gov who began their enrollment before the December 24 deadline but were unable to complete their enrollment because of problems with the website, it may still be possible to get a January 1 effective date.  Healthcare.gov has an update that directs applicants in that situation to contact the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, where representatives can look at applications on a case-by-case basis and possibly still get the enrollment completed with a January 1 effective date.

In most states, it’s too late to get a January 1 effective date if you have not yet started your application.  Connecticut (Access Health CT) and Nevada (Nevada Health Link) did not change their December 23 enrollment deadline. Hawaii (Hawaii Health Connector), New York (NY State of Health), and all of the states where HHS is running the exchange extended their enrollment deadlines to midnight on December 24.  If you’re in one of those 40 states and have not yet enrolled, you have until January 15 to enroll for a February 1 effective date.

There are six state-run exchanges that are still allowing enrollment for a January 1 effective date:

  • Minnesota (MNsure): The enrollment deadline is December 31. Payment must be made by January 10.
  • Maryland (Maryland Health Connection): The enrollment deadline is December 27. Payment must be made by January 15.
  • Rhode Island (Health Source RI): The enrollment deadline is December 31. Payment must be made by January 6.
  • Colorado (Connect for Health Colorado): The enrollment deadline is December 27. Payment must be made by January 10.
  • Massachusetts (Massachusetts Health Connector): The enrollment deadline is December 31. Payment must be made by December 31 for enrollees who are receiving premium subsidies, but those who are paying full price for their plan have until January 10 to pay the first premium.
  • Oregon (Cover Oregon): The enrollment deadline is January 6. Payment must be made by January 15.  Oregon’s exchange is relying on paper applications, which are a two-part process.  Applicants must have submitted their initial application by December 4 in order to get a January 1 effective date.  Once that application is processed by the exchange, enrollees have until 5 p.m. on December 27 to make their plan selection.  Payment must be made by January 15.

The remaining five state-run exchanges – Kentucky (Kynect), Vermont (Vermont Health Connect), California (Covered California), Washington (Washington Healthplanfinder), and the District of Columbia (DC Health Link) – are working with applicants on a case-by-case basis, assisting people who began their application before the deadline on December 23, but were unable to finish their enrollment in time.  The exchanges are working to help those applicants receive a January 1 effective date.

If you’re in one of those states and have not yet begun your enrollment, you can get a February 1 effective date if you enroll by January 15.

Payment deadlines vary across the country.  In most cases, payment deadlines have been extended until January 10.  But five state-run exchanges have earlier deadlines:

  • California and Rhode Island – January 6
  • Vermont – January 7
  • Nevada – December 27
  • Massachusetts (for enrollees receiving premium subsidies) – December 31

Some carriers and exchanges have pushed out their payment deadlines beyond January 10, allowing enrollees extra time to pay the first premium.  Check with your carrier so that you know the payment deadline for your policy.

Tags: Connect for Health Colorado, Cover Oregon, Covered California, DC Health Link, health insurance exchange, health insurance marketplace, Health Source RI, HealthCare.gov, Kynect, Maryland Health Connection, MNsure, open enrollment, Vermont Health Connect, Washington Healthplanfinder

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