The 2016 timeline is the first open-enrollment period to end on time. Two years ago, when massive computer defects impacted the debut of HealthCare.gov, Department of Health and Human Services officials gave consumers extra time to finish applications. Last year, Health & Human Services offered a week-long special enrollment period for consumers who had encountered technical snags or long lines when applying at the last minute, as well as a six-week special period for people who would otherwise have faced penalties under the law for going uninsured.
Federal officials have now made it clear that there will be not be any extensions for 2016, and they are restricting the special circumstances under which people can enroll at other times during the year. The most recent federal enrollment figures suggested that the final numbers are likely to be only slightly larger than last year’s enrollment figures. With a week to go, 11.6 million people had already selected Affordable Care Act health plans, compared with a final total of 11.7 million last year. Those figures include everyone who had signed up for coverage; some will not pay their initial monthly premium and not have coverage that will actually take effect.
What Can I Do To Get Health Coverage Now?
If you missed the annual ACA coverage deadline of January 31, 2016, you will no longer be able to get Minimum Essential Coverage in the individual and family health insurance market for 2016. This is true for both within the marketplace and outside of the marketplace. Lucky for you, there are some ways around this.
Here’s is what you need to know when you have missed the 2016 deadline:
- You will owe a penalty for each month that you go without coverage or an exemption in the year 2016. The only way to get around this penalty is to qualify for the special enrollment period due to qualifying life events.
- Those who did not get accepted for Medicaid or CHIP may qualify for a special enrollment period. You are able to enroll in Medicaid and CHIP 365 days a year.
- Short Term Health Insurance can be obtained through the dedicated agents at the Leb Insurance Group, however, short term coverage does not protect you from the fee.
- Insurance types like Medicare and employer coverage have different enrollment periods.
- If you missed the 2016 deadline, you should have the Leb Insurance Group look into all of your health insurance options and possible exemptions.
- There are over 40 different qualifying life events and exemptions that can be examined for you.
- Consider short term coverage to protect your health in the meantime. Consider special enrollment and exemptions that may protect you from the fee and to help expand your health insurance coverage options.
If you’ve already tried Healthcare.gov and would benefit help from outside the Marketplace, contact the dedicated agents at the Leb Insurance Group, a member of the Healthcare Solutions Team and get started today!