District of Columbia: @DCHealthLink #COVID19 SEP deadline is actually Sept. 15th

Back in April, I noted that the DC Health Link ACA exchange had announced what appeared to be a special enrollment period specifically intended for employees of small businesses via the ACA's SHOP program, through September 15th, 2020:

DC Health Link Expands Opportunities to Get Covered During Public Health Emergency

Monday, April 6, 2020

Responding to COVID-19 pandemic, DC Health Link permits uninsured employees of DC small businesses that offer health insurance through DC Health Link to get covered now

Washington, DC – In responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency in the District of Columbia, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) Executive Board unanimously voted to create a special enrollment period (SEP) for employees of small businesses currently covered through DC Health Link. Through this special enrollment period, employees of small businesses that purchase health insurance coverage through DC Health Link can enroll in health insurance or enroll their dependents now, rather than being required to wait for their employer’s next annual open enrollment period.

This new SEP will run through September 15, 2020, which mirrors action previously taken by DCHBX to provide uninsured individuals and families the opportunity to enroll in health insurance through DC Health Link. Anyone who is uninsured in the District, should visit DCHealthLink.com and sign up for coverage now. Depending on income, residents may qualify for Medicaid or premium reductions for private health insurance.

At the time, I assumed the Sept. 15th deadline did not have any connection to DC's individual market COVID-19 SEP, which had been previously set to expire yesterday, June 15th.

However, Louise Norris has called my attention to the next part of the sentence: "...which mirrors action previously taken by DCHBX to provide uninsured individuals and families the opportunity to enroll".

Louise is quite certain that this means that the individual market SEP in DC is also good through 9/15...confirmed by Claire McAndrew, formerly with Families USA, currently the Vice Chair of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Standing Advisory Board:

Did you know @DCHealthLink has the longest, most protective Special Enrollment Period for COVID-19 of any in the country? Residents can enroll through September 15, 2020.

— Claire McAndrew (@claire_mcandrew) June 10, 2020

And here in the District of Columbia, not only is coronavirus testing and diagnosis covered without cost-sharing, but thanks to the work of @DCDISB and @DCHealthLink COVID-19 treatment is also covered in private insurance without cost-sharing.

— Claire McAndrew (@claire_mcandrew) June 10, 2020

There's more! Coverage can't be terminated for non-payment through DC's public health emergency (currently through July 24), and after insurers must allow residents a full 12 months to pay back unpaid premiums. This is REAL consumer protection. Thank you @DCDISB @DCHealthLink

— Claire McAndrew (@claire_mcandrew) June 10, 2020

Between New York bumping their deadline out through July, Vermont extending theirs through August and now this, I gotta imagine sooner or later someone will just decide to scrap the deadline altogether, which could make for some interesting consequences...