Accessible, affordable health care is critical to preventing and treating heart disease and stroke. That makes the progress made during this first 6-month open enrollment period of the Health Insurance Marketplace something to recognize.
When open enrollment closed on March 31st, 7.5 million Americans had enrolled in a health care plan according to the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, millions of Americans were able to gain coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Medicaid expansion that took place in 26 states and the District of Columbia.
Even with open-enrollment closed, there are still some lingering questions consumers may have and we’re here to help:
What if I tried to enroll by March 31, but didn’t finish in time?
If you tried to enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace by March 31 but didn’t finish on time, you may still be able to get 2014 coverage- but you need to act quickly. You must finish your enrollment by April 15 to get coverage for 2014. If you enroll by April 15, your coverage will begin May 1. Learn more here.
When is the next open enrollment period?
It’s not too early to think about your next opportunity to gain or alter your coverage. The next enrollment period will begin on November 15th, 2014 and end on February 15th, 2015. You can sign-up for email updates at www.healthcare.gov. This will, once again, be a critical time to help educate the millions of Americans who remain uninsured about their health care options and help them enroll in a plan that meets their needs and budget.
Are there any exceptions to the open enrollment period deadlines?
There are ‘qualifying life events’ that enable you to buy coverage outside of the standard enrollment period, such as:
- Having a baby or adopting, or
- Getting married or divorced, or
- Moving to a new state, or
- Losing your employer based coverage.
Additionally, those who qualify can apply for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid at any point in the year. There is no open enrollment period for these programs. Also, if you own or operate a small business, you can begin offering coverage to your employees at any time.