Obamacare Extended... Again!
An ObamaCare extension has been announced that will extend open enrollment until mid-April for those who signed up, but have not enrolled in a health plan. People will be able to check a box that says they had trouble signing up and will be granted an ObamaCare deadline extension (called a special enrollment period) allowing them to enroll in a plan up until about mid-April. After mid-April the only way to be granted an extension under a special enrollment period will be to contact the call center and request one. Extensions are only given for certain qualifying life events.
Open enrollment in the health insurance marketplace ends on March 31st, 2014 but due to the "ObamaCare Extension" you will be able to enroll until mid-march by checking a box signifying you had issues enrolling in a plan. This option is only for those who already have a marketplace account.ObamaCare Extension RulesYou will be able to claim the ObamaCare extension by checking a box that says you had issues enrolling in a plan. You must have already signed up for the marketplace to claim this exemption. The exemption will rely on an honor system, there will be no audit to check whether or not you had actually tried to enroll in a plan before March 31st. Requests for a special enrollment period after mid-April will have more stringent guidelines.The new exemption relies on "self-attestation", in other words as long as you signed up it will be your duty to click the box only if you actually had issues enrolling in a health plan, although no one will be questioning you or checking to see if you tell the truth.ObamaCare Special Enrollment PeriodsSpecial enrollment periods are written into the law and are common among all types of insurance. They are meant to give those in "certain life circumstances" the ability to enroll in a plan outside of open enrollment. You can learn more about other ObamaCare's other special enrollment periods here.The Reason Behind the ObamaCare Enrollment ExemptionThe ObamaCare enrollment exemption was announced due to the heavy surge of last minute traffic to healthcare.gov. The point of the program is now and has always been to make sure people are covered. There is a fear that the overwhelming amount of folks trying to sign up and enroll at the last minute could leave a small portion unable to sign up for the marketplace. This rule will allow those who wait until the last minute about two weeks to ensure the enrollment process was completed.Sign Up for ObamaCare Before March 31stYou will need to sign up for the marketplace by March 31st, 2014. Although the deadline to enroll in a plan is March 31st, 2014 people having trouble signing up will be able to check a box saying they had trouble enrolling in a plan and then will have until mid-April to enroll. 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 it's own marketplace these same rules may not apply. Sign up for ObamaCare today.