A Few More Days to Enroll

The ACA’s open enrollment period ended Sunday, as we all know, but some people will still have a few more days to sign up for coverage. That’s because there was a technical glitch with Healthcare.gov’s income verification system on Saturday that prevented some people from completing their application.

While a number of newspapers are reporting on the story, we can learn everything we need to know from the Healthcare.gov site, which has a pop-up banner on the front page:

hcg special enrollment popup

Clicking the ad takes consumers to a page that explains the issues they may have run into over the weekend, including the technical glitch or long wait times at the Marketplace Call Center:

February 16, 2015

Open Enrollment is over – We can still help you get covered

Open enrollment is over. But if you were trying to enroll on February 15 and couldn’t finish, you may still be able to get coverage.

We know many of you worked hard to enroll in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Despite your best efforts, you may not have been able to complete your application and select a plan.

If that happened to you, don’t worry – you may still be able to get covered in 2015 if one of these applies to you:

1. You tried to enroll in health coverage by February 15, but you didn’t complete your enrollment because of longer than normal wait times at the Marketplace Call Center on February 13, 14 and 15.

2. You tried, but weren’t able to enroll in health coverage by February 15 because of a technical issue on HealthCare.gov, such as being unable to submit your application because verification sources were down.

To finish your enrollment, you must attest that one of the statements above is true. This opportunity will only be available until February 22, 2015. You should enroll in coverage as soon as you can. To complete your application, log in to your Marketplace account on HealthCare.gov, or contact the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 to complete your enrollment over the phone.

Note: This opportunity is intended to help you enroll for 2015 for the first time. If you are already enrolled in a plan through the Marketplace, you can’t switch to a different plan now unless you have recently experienced a life change that grants a Special Enrollment Period. Learn more about reporting life changes and Special Enrollment Periods.

Some state exchanges are extending their deadlines as well, either due to technical glitches or inclement weather, according to The Wall Street Journal. And Washington State is extending its enrollment deadline “until April 17 for residents who hadn’t realized they would face tax penalties under the Affordable Care Act for going without insurance in 2014 and 2015.” Apparently ignorance is an excuse…

The point is that, depending on where you’re located, some of your clients may have a few more days to sign up for coverage and apply for a tax credit. But since this extension won’t apply to everyone, over the next few days we’ll be sharing some ideas about how you can stay busy, make money, and put your private exchange site to good use this “off season.”

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