District of Columbia: Huh. DC joins NY in extending 2020 Open Enrollment deadline.

This is very interesting. ACA Open Enrollment deadline extensions have become kind of a running joke over the years, but for the most part they've been restricted to the December deadlines. the states with deadlines already extending into January have stuck with them for the most part...until this year.

A few days ago, New York State of Health announced that they're extending their final enrollment deadline (for March 1st coverage) by a week, until midnight on Friday, February 7th.

Late last night, the DC Health Link announced that they, too, are extending their final deadline (for March 1st coverage) by five days, until midnight on Wednesday, February 5th.

There's two reasons for having a deadline in the first place: First, it prevents people from gaming the system (i.e., waiting until they're actually sick/injured before signing up, thus driving massive premium spikes); second, it helps goad them into action (that's just a human nature thing). Normally the justifications for deadline extensions are either major technical issues or a massive last-minute enrollment surge, neither of which was happening in either DC or NY to my knowledge, so this seems like an odd move, but whatever.

5 More Days to Sign Up for Quality Health Insurance!

  • DC Health Link Extends 2020 Open Enrollment Deadline through Wed., Feb. 5

Washington, DC­­ – DC residents will have an additional five (5) days to sign up for 2020 health insurance coverage through DC Health Link.  The new deadline to enroll has been extended through 11:59pm Wednesday, February 5. Individuals who sign up by that deadline will have coverage beginning March 1, 2020.

DC Health Link customer service representatives will be available at (855) 532-5465 from 8:00am to 8:00pm on Monday, February 3rd through Wednesday, February 5th to work with individuals seeking to enroll in health insurance coverage effective March 1. In-person assistance will also be available at enrollment centers throughout the District to assist residents with the enrollment process through February 5th.

If residents are unable to connect with assistance by the deadline, they should send an email that includes their contact information and the nature of the difficulties experienced to info@dchealthlink.com. DC Health Link staff will follow up with these consumers and will work with them to complete their enrollment for coverage effective March 1, 2020. 

The District of Columbia requires all residents to have health insurance, an exemption, or pay a tax penalty. The penalty is based on the number of months an individual or family goes without health coverage. For someone who goes without coverage for a full year, the penalty is: $695 for each adult and $347.50 for each child, up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of family income that is over the federal tax filing threshold, whichever is greater. For more details about the tax penalty visit: https://dchealthlink.com/individual-responsibility-requirement

Enrollment opportunities and enrollment center information are below.

One Touch Enrollment Center Hours

  • Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School (Harvard Street Campus)
  • 1100 Harvard Street, NW
  • Saturday, February 1, 2020, 9:00am – 12:00pm

Enrollment Centers

  • La Clinica Del Pueblo, 2831 15th Street, NW
  • Monday and Tuesday, 8:30am – 5:30pm
  • Wednesday, 8:30am – 8:00pm (EXTENDED HRS.)
  • Mary's Center, 3912 Georgia Ave, NW
  • Monday – Wednesday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Whitman Walker Health, @ LIZ, 1377 R Street, NW
  • Monday – Wednesday, 8:30am – 5:30 pm
  • Leadership Council for Healthy Comm.
  • Amazing Love Health Services, 702 15th Street, NE
  • Monday and Wednesday, 10:00am – 5:00pm (EXTENDED HRS.)
  • Leadership Council for Healthy Comm.
  • UDC Bertie Backus, 5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:30am – 1:30pm
  • Leadership Council for Healthy Comm.
  • Reeves Center, 3rd Floor, 2000 14th Street, NW
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:00am – 5:00pm (EXTENDED HRS.)
  • Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School (Sonia Gutierrez Campus)
  • 514 V Street, NE
  • Wednesday, 9:30am – 12:00pm, 1:30 - 3:00pm
  • Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs
  • Reeves Center, 2nd Floor, 2000 14th Street, NW
  • Wednesday, 11:00am – 4:30pm
  • Leadership Council for Healthy Comm.
  • SOME (So Others Might Eat), 60 O Street, NW
  • Monday, 8:00am – 12:00pm
  • Community of Hope Conway Health and Resource Center
  • 4 Atlantic Street, SW
  • Monday – Wednesday, 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Community of Hope Marie Reed Health Center
  • 2155 Champlain Street, NW
  • Monday – Wednesday, 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Community of Hope Family Health Birth Center
  • 801 17th Street, NE
  • Monday – Wednesday, 10:00am – 3:00pm

Background

For District residents, there are 25 private health insurance options from CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente for individuals and families. Eligible District residents can enroll in a health insurance plan online through DCHealthLink.com or by calling (855) 532-LINK [5465]. Plan selections made by February 5th will be effective on March 1, 2020. Small businesses—as well as individuals and families eligible for Medicaid—can enroll through DCHealthLink.comat any point.

The Affordable Care Act provides individuals, families, and small businesses in the District of Columbia with affordable options for quality health insurance. DC Health Link is the District’s online health insurance marketplace which allows visitors to shop, compare, and enroll in coverage that fits their needs and budgets.

In 2019, DC Health Link has provided health insurance to about 20,000 residents through the individual marketplace and almost 95,000 people through the small business marketplace. Washington, DC has the second lowest uninsured rate among all states in the nation, with almost 97 percent of District residents covered. Since opening for business in 2013, DC Health Link has helped cut the District’s uninsured rate in half.