ACA Deadlines Got You Stressed? You May Still Be Able to Make It Under the Wire
The clock for the open enrollment deadline is ticking. If you haven’t enrolled in coverage by
March 31, 2014, buying 2014 Marketplace coverage will be pretty tricky, if not impossible. To complicate things, if you don’t make the deadline, you may have to pay a penalty.
However, there are some qualifying life event exceptions that may still make enrollment possible.
Special Enrollment Periods: Do You Qualify In Spite of Overdue Obamacare Deadlines?
A special ACA enrollment period is granted to those who have experienced certain life events preventing them from meeting Obamacare deadlines. With qualifying life events, you may be eligible to buy a Marketplace health insurance plan outside the designated open enrollment period.
Most special enrollment periods extend 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event, so it’s important to make this a priority, even though your deadline may be delayed.
You could be eligible for a special enrollment period if you are:
- Getting married
- Having, adopting, or undertaking placement of a child
- Permanently moving to a state whose health plan options differ from your current choices
- Gaining new status as a citizen or lawfully present individual in the USA
- Experiencing a change in income
- Experiencing enrollment error on behalf of the Marketplace
- Losing minimum essential health coverage due to job loss, divorce, loss of Medicaid or CHIP eligibility, expiration of COBRA coverage, or decertification of a health plan
- Already enrolled in a Marketplace plan, but experienced a change in income or household status, affecting tax credit or cost-sharing reduction eligibility
- Native American, and eligible for guidelines as defined by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act
Special enrollment period eligibility is also open to people who registered during the designated open enrollment period, but who now want to change their coverage. This policy is restricted to those whose coverage hasn’t yet taken effect. Job-based plans provide yet another option because they typically have 30-day special enrollment periods.
While the circumstances are specific, a penalty-free year may be yours if you qualify. If you think you’re eligible, make sure to act quickly because the next proposed open enrollment period is slated for November 15, 2014 through January 15, 2015.
Issues with ACA Deadlines Don’t Apply to Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment
If you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP assistance in any state, there are no limited enrollment periods, which means you don’t need to worry about missing any Obamacare deadlines.
Some states are even expanding Medicaid so there is a wider range of income eligibility, depending on where you live. For those with limited incomes, disability, or children, both programs are a helpful aid at a time when employment and insurance stability is still fluctuating as the country tries to adapt to new government policies.
Don’t Lose Hope with EInsurance As Your Guide
As overwhelming as ACA deadlines can be, EInsurance has the answers to help guide you through the often sticky labyrinth of ACA enrollment. Visit our website to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and its implications.