The Jan. 1st coverage deadline has (mostly) passed in 40 states (& sort-of in 4 more)
As you can see from the graphic I posted yesterday (and had to revise several times throughout the day), the official enrollment deadline for private policies starting on January 1st, 2015 has now passed for all 37 states operating via HealthCare.Gov, as well as residents of DC, Hawaii and Kentucky. It's certainly possible that any or all of these will announce some sort of "special circumstances" allowance for those who didn't make the midnight cut-off (10pm in Alaska), but I'm assuming those would be done strictly on a case-by-case basis.
OK, so what about the remaining 11 states?
Well, 4 of them (MD, MA, RI & WA) had later deadlines for January coverage all along: Maryland on 12/18 (Thursday) and the other 3 on 12/23 (next Tuesday).
New York and Idaho bumped their deadlines out from yesterday until 12/20 (Saturday), although Idaho had previously claimed that their deadline was 12/23, but are now claiming that it was originally 12/15. I still don't understand what happened there, but so be it: 12/20 it is for ID.
Then, yesterday, there were last-minute developments in the 5 remaining states:
- Connecticut announced a 4-day "grace period" for those who started the process by last night: They have until 12/19 (Friday) to complete their enrollment.
- Minnesota announced a 5-day full extension, until 12/20 (Saturday)...but only until 4:30pm, for some odd reason.
- California announced a 6-day "grace period" for those who started by last night: They have until 12/21 (Sunday) to complete the process.
- Vermont "announced" (well, not really...it just quietly appeared on their site at some point) that "January 1 will be the default start date if you confirm a plan choice by December 31"
- Finally, Colorado didn't announce any formal extension or even "grace period", but did state via Facebook that they'll "work with people over the next few days for a January effective date", which sounds like my "case-by-case" note above.
In any event, that's where things stand at the moment, but these could still change. Hell, for all I know, HHS could even announce some sort of after-last-minute January coverage bonus period for HC.gov, although that's pretty unlikely at this point.
Anyway, the next Big News (aside from the official numbers through yesterday, which I'm still pretty confident will be around 3.38M via HC.gov and 4.50M nationally) will be the autorenewal numbers/process. Stay tuned...
UPDATE 10:50am: Yup, sure enough, I've been informed by several people that HHS says that they can still receive Jan. 1st coverage as long as they left their contact info with an HC.gov call center representative as of last night.
I've also received some interesting information about how auto-renewals are being handled, which I'll write up in a separate post soon.
UPDATE 12:50pm: Thanks to Jim Drake in the comments for the heads up to this story by Dan Mangan of CNBC (which actually quotes me at the bottom!) with official confirmation that anyone who left their contact info with HC.gov yesterday will receive a call today and can complete the process in time for January coverage.
(If you're wondering how I could be quoted for the story but not know about the callback provision, Mangan updated that part of it last night).
UPDATE: 1:00PM: Morgan True of VTDigger has posted an official explanation of the oddly-hidden deadline extension in Vermont:
VHC notified navigators and assitors, who help people sign up for coverage, but did not include the extension in a Friday news release to the media that included updated enrollment figures. There was no standalone release announcing the extended deadline.
There is nothing on the VHC homepage notifying people of the extended deadline, but once users click the ‘get started’ tab, the following message appears, “Please note: January 1 will be the default start date if you confirm a plan choice by December 31.”
VHC spokesman Sean Sheehan said VHC officials did not issue a news release because they wanted to avoid creating “fanfare” around the extended deadline.
“We didn’t want that Dec. 31 date anchored in people’s minds,” he said. “We want them to know the sooner they sign up, the better.”