By Tricia Brooks, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families
With the deadline for the initial open enrollment on March 31 looming, consumers, advocates, and assisters have been stressing over what happens to people who, for no fault of their own, have not been able to complete their enrollment on HealthCare.Gov or through the federal call center. Late yesterday, federal officials announced that through mid-April, anyone who has tried to enroll by March 31st will be able to check a “blue box” on HealthCare.Gov to qualify for extra time to complete the process.
This doesn’t extend open enrollment to new applicants; it allows individuals who have gotten “stuck” to qualify for a special enrollment period, although the details of how long people will have has not been released. People who get the extension and ultimately enroll will not face the tax penalty that normally kicks in after 3 months of being uninsured.
State-based exchanges in Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada and Oregon have taken, or are considering, similar steps. More details are expected to emerge today when HHS makes the formal announcement of the extension. As we learn more, we’ll share the details on Say Ahhh! and CHIRblog!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Georgetown University Center for Children and Families’ Say Ahhh! blog.