NO SLEEP 'TIL BROOKLYN: Enrollment Deadline Extension Roundup...




As everyone should know by now, Tuesday, December 15th is The Deadline for enrolling in ACA-compliant healthcare coverage starting on January 1st. After that, people can still enroll anytime through the end of January, but there will be a gap in coverage of one to two months. For most states the deadlines are:

  • For Jan. 1st coverage: Enroll by Dec. 15th (see Update 5 below)
  • For Feb. 1st coverage: Enroll between Dec. 16th - Jan. 15th
  • For Mar. 1st coverage: Enroll between Jan. 16th - Jan. 31st

HOWEVER, there are several states which have later deadlines...and that list has just grown by one. In addition, there are some exceptions for current enrollees of specific carriers within certain states. Here are the ones I know of:

  • Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington State residents have until Dec. 23rd to enroll for Jan. 1st coverage

CORRECTION 12/14: I thought IDAHO'S deadline was 12/23 as well, but it turns out that it's 12/15 for Idaho. Apologies for the error. Thanks to Louise Norris for the catch.

These 3 states have had the later date locked in officially all along. However, there have also been recent changes in other states:

  • Minnesota just announced that their state exchange, MNsure, has extended their deadline for Jan. 1st coverage from 12/15 until December 28th:

ST. PAUL, Minn.—In an effort to provide more time for Minnesotans who qualify for financial help available only through MNsure, the organization today announced it would extend the enrollment deadline for January 1 coverage.

Minnesotans now have until Monday, December 28, 2015, to enroll in coverage and have their plan effective on January 1, 2016. The change comes as some health insurance companies expressed interest in offering plans through the end of the month.

The enrollment deadline extension is not in response to any system issues or technical problems.

Colorado HealthOp and Access Health Colorado customers, along with some customers of Rocky Mountain Health Plans, have been granted an extension of the enrollment period, also known as a “Special Enrollment” period, allowing more time to enroll for coverage effective Jan. 1. With approval from the state’s Division of Insurance, these customers now have until Dec. 31 to enroll for Jan. 1, 2016 insurance. In addition, customers of Rocky Mountain Health Plans that no longer have access to plans in their area from this carrier, also are eligible for this enrollment extension.

These customers may continue to enroll through their Broker, Health Coverage Guide, our website or by calling our Customer Service Center between Dec. 16 and Dec. 31, 2015.

Knoxville-based Community Health Alliance will not offer insurance in 2016, although CHA policyholders will keep their insurance through Dec. 31 of this year as long as they pay premiums. CHA consumers have until Dec. 31 to enroll in a new healthcare plan in order to have coverage that will be effective Jan. 1.

These are the only deadlines/extensions beyond 12/15 that I know of so far. If you know of any others, please feel free to let me know and I'll update this post.

UPDATE x2: OK, these aren't technically full deadline extensions, but Connect for Health Colorado just issued the following announcement regarding "Waiting in Line by Midnight" exceptions:

While our Customer Service representatives, certified Brokers and Health Coverage Guides are working overtime to help customers with enrolling, we recognize that everyone may not complete the process on time. If you started your application online, or with a certified Broker or Health Coverage Guide prior to the Dec. 15 deadline, Connect for Health Colorado will honor your efforts and work with you to complete that enrollment for Jan. 1 coverage. We highly encourage you to complete your application this week. This extension is only available to customers who began the process of enrollment prior to Dec. 15. Thank you for your patience during this busy period.

Similarly, CMS director Andy Slavitt recently tweeted out the following, more vague reassurance:

Avg wait is several mins on and over 150,000 are on at 6:30. If you can't wait, leave name and you will be covered.

— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) December 14, 2015

By "leave your name", I believe he means call 1-800-318-2596 and leave your name/contact information there.

UPDATE x3: The New York exchange has officially extended their deadline out by 4 days, through December 19th.

UPDATE x4: The Maryland exchange has (quietly) announced that they'll accept enrollments placed as late as December 18th in time for January 1st coverage. They sent out a very short email to MD residents a little while ago:

Subj: Tonight's Open Enrollment Deadline

  • Open enrollment for Jan. 1 coverage ends at midnight.
  • Consumers who began the process but were unable to complete it may complete their enrollment by Friday (Dec. 18) in time for Jan. 1 coverage under an "administrative grace period."
  • Consumers who want Feb. 1 coverage should enroll beginning Dec. 19.

UPDATE x5: Holy Smokes...this is the big one:

“Because of the unprecedented demand and volume of consumers contacting our call center or visiting, we are extending the deadline to sign-up for January 1 coverage until 11:59pm PST December 17. Hundreds of thousands have already selected plans over the last two days and approximately 1 million consumers have left their contact information to hold their place in line.Our goal is to provide access to affordable coverage, and the additional 48 hours will give consumers an opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for January 1 coverage. ”

--Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplaces

UPDATE x6: Annnnnd there goes Covered California as well:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Due to very high demand for health insurance through Covered California, the deadline to enroll for coverage starting Jan. 1 will be extended until Dec. 17 to accommodate the surge in interest.

Update 12/16/15: The DC exchange just announced that they're bumping their deadline out thru 12/17 as well:

#DCHealthLink's Deadline was 12/15, However it will honor the federal government's 48 Hour extension. Enroll TODAY @

Update 12/16/15: OK, this isn't really an extension, but Kynect (the Kentucky exchange) did just tweet out the following:

If U couldn't enroll last night due to tech probs, call 1-855-459-6328 & ask to speak to Tier 2 OKHBE. They will help U get Jan 1 coverage.

Update 12/16/15: And there goes Colorado (applies to all enrollees, not just select ones noted earlier):

We are extending the deadline to enroll to Thursday, Dec. 17th.

— C4HCO (@C4HCO) December 16, 2015

UPDATE 12/22/15: Connect for Health Colorado has extended their January coverage deadline again for everyone, through Saturday, December 26th:

DENVER – Connect for Health Colorado® has announced a second extension – to midnight Saturday, Dec. 26 – of the deadline to enroll in health insurance coverage beginning January 1, after seeing a large number of last minute enrollments and a heavy snowstorm on the original deadline.

That means Coloradans can still get coverage through the state health insurance Marketplace for all of 2016 if they act by Saturday. More than 116,000 Coloradans had enrolled in 2016 coverage by the original Dec. 15 deadline, when the first extension was put in place. But demand remains high and Connect for Health Colorado has decided to institute a second, final extension through the end of the week.

UPDATE 12/23/15: HealthSource Rhode Island has extended their deadline for January coverage as well:

Release: HealthSource RI Announces Enrollment Deadline Extension • Posted on December 23, 2015 | By HealthSource RI

PROVIDENCE, RI–HealthSource RI, the state’s health benefits exchange, announced today it is extending the enrollment deadline to Tuesday, December 29, 2015, for individual and family health coverage starting on January 1, 2016. Customers must make their first month’s premium payment by December 31, 2015.

“Over the past several days, thousands of Rhode Islanders have called the contact center to get assistance choosing plans, completing their applications and making payments,” said Acting Director Zachary Sherman. “Call volume has exceeded our expectations and in light of this, we are extending the deadline to ensure that all customers who want health coverage starting in January have the opportunity to get it,” he said.

If new or renewing customers miss today’s December 23 deadline, they can enroll through December 29 for coverage starting on January 1. However, customers may experience delayed activation of coverage, due to processing times, and delayed postal delivery of insurance cards. If customers seek healthcare services during this interim period until receiving their insurance cards in the mail, it is likely they will have to pay for their care out-of-pocket. They will need to submit their receipts to their insurance company for reimbursement after receiving their insurance cards.

New and renewing customers who enroll and pay their first month’s premium by January 23, 2016, will have coverage that begins on February 1, 2016.

New and renewing customers who enroll between January 24 and January 31, and pay their first month’s premium by February 23, will have coverage that begins on March 1, 2016.