An Important Message from Laura Packard and myself!

Many of you have heard the story of Laura Packard, a young woman who was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s disease last spring, and who has since become a powerful advocate for the Affordable Care Act, writing op-ed pieces for US News & World Report. recording videos for NowThis and so forth.

She made news in September when President Trump blocked her on Twitter for daring to ask him not to kick millions of Americans off their healthcare policies...and again a few weeks ago when Nevada GOP Senator Dean Heller had her thrown out of a town hall he was speaking at for daring to ask him not to kill her.

What you probably don’t know is that Laura Packard is also a personal friend of mine. She lives in Nevada these days but grew up here in Michigan. I’ve known Laura for over a decade; I believe we first met at a Michigan Democratic Party convention at Cobo Hall in Detroit back in 2006 or so. She’s awesome.

Anyway, Laura has completed her chemotherapy sessions and is doing much better these days (at least for the time being). She’s in town this week, so we got together for lunch the other day and decided to post a quick reminder to #GetCovered!

Residents of 41 states only have until midnight Friday, December 15th to enroll. This includes the 39 states run via HealthCare.Gov, as well as Idaho and Vermont.

IMPORTANT: In prior years, offered at least a one or two day “grace period” for people who started—but didn’t complete—the policy enrollment process before midnight on the final deadline. This year it looks like they won’t be doing that:

CMS Expected To Eliminate Grace Periods For ‘In-Line’ Enrollees Shut Out By Healthcare.Gov

December 11, 2017

Stakeholders expect CMS to shut out potential enrollees attempting to register for a plan on as the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 15 and not afford them a grace period for sign-ups as the agency has done in years past -- and the agency wouldn't deny that might be the casewhen asked about it by Inside Health Policy . The 2018 enrollment period, which the Trump administration shortened by half compared to previous years, ends Friday (Dec. 15)...

The other 9 states (+DC) have later deadlines:

  • Connecticut: Dec. 22nd
  • Maryland: Dec. 22nd (Maryland announced the extension yesterday)
  • Rhode Island: Dec. 31st
  • Colorado: Jan. 12th (enroll by Dec. 15th for coverage starting Jan. 1st)
  • Minnesota: Jan. 14th (enroll by Dec. 20th for coverage starting Jan. 1st)
  • Washington State: Jan. 15th (enroll by Dec. 15th for coverage starting Jan. 1st)
  • Massachusetts: Jan. 23rd (enroll by Dec. 23rd for coverage starting Jan. 1st)
  • California: Jan. 31st (enroll by Dec. 15th for coverage starting Jan. 1st)
  • District of Columbia: Jan. 31st (enroll by Dec. 15th for coverage starting Jan. 1st)
  • New York: Jan. 31st (enroll by Dec. 15th for coverage starting Jan. 1st)

I know that Idaho is offering a one-week “In Line By Midnight” grace period; I’m not sure about Vermont or the other states with longer deadlines, though I’m guessing most of them will do so.

So remember…