Alaska: Southcentral earthquake victims given until Jan. 29th to #GetCovered
OK, I'm not sure how I missed this, but apparently in addition to the 7 states (+DC) which have extended deadlines, the 2019 Open Enrollment period also isn't over for some residents of Alaska:
Alaskans living in Southcentral affected by the Nov. 30 earthquake have until Jan. 29, 2019 to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
In a release from United Way of Anchorage, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Thursday that Alaskans living in the Municipality of Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska-Susitna Boroughs at the time of the quake are eligible for the extension past the original Dec. 15 deadline.
Lori Wing-Heier, director of Alaska's Division of Insurance, explained for the extension to kick in, "The caller has to call in to [healthcare.gov] and would have to attest that they could not enroll because of the earthquake."
The extension is a part of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' declaration of public health emergency on Dec. 3 in response to the earthquake. Two days later, the US Department of Health and Human Services accepted the declaration, allowing an extension to be implemented.
Those interested in the the extension can call United Way's 211 line, or the healthcare.gov information line at 800-318-2596.
This is pretty much exactly what HC.gov did last year after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria slammed into the Gulf Coast area. Residents in large swaths (and in some cases the entire state) of Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina were given an extra two weeks to enroll (through New Year's Eve). In addition, former residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who were forced by Hurricane Maria to relocate to the U.S. mainland (mostly in Florida) were also given extra time to enroll...all the way out until March 31st.
On top of that, there was also a massive wind storm which knocked out much of Maine's power for quite awhile which led CMS to offer an extension to those folks as well.
On the one hand, around 460,000 Alaskans live in the eligible areas, or over 60% of the entire state. On the other hand, Alaska's total ACA exchange enrollment was only around 18,300 people last fall, so I can't imagine that this will boost 2019 enrollment by more than a couple hundred at most. Even so, that'd still be a couple hundred more people who #GetCovered...