California: OH YEAH...2019 Open Enrollment starts in (does double take)...25 days!!

With the 2019 Open Enrollment Period rapidly approaching, I figured this might be a good time to remind everyone that while it starts on November 1st for most of the country, the largest state, California, is kicking things off 2 weeks early (17 days early, actually). Covered California is launching their 2019 ACA Open Enrollment Period on Monday, October 15th, 2018:

Open enrollment for 2019 coverage will begin October 15, 2018 in California, and continue until January 15, 2019

Nationwide, open enrollment for 2019 coverage is scheduled to run from November 1, 2018 to December 15, 2018 — the same schedule that was followed in late 2017 for 2018 coverage. But Covered California was one of only three state-run exchanges that opted in 2017 to keep open enrollment at three months in duration for 2018 coverage (the others were New York and DC).

And the state enacted legislation (A.B.156) in late 2017 that codifies a three-month open enrollment period going forward — California will not be switching to the November 1 – December 15 open enrollment window that other states will be using.

Instead, California’s open enrollment period will begin October 15, and will continue until January 15. On-exchange, the November 1 – December 15 open enrollment period will be supplemented by a special enrollment period from October 15 to October 31, and another special enrollment period from December 16 to January 15 (these special enrollment periods are necessary because federal regulations designate November 1 to December 15 as the official open enrollment period, so California had to supplement that with special enrollment periods, rather than changing the official dates of open enrollment).

Coverage purchased between October 15 and December 15 will be effective January 1 of the coming year, while coverage purchased between December 16 and January 15 will be effective no later than February 1.

Off-exchange, open enrollment will also run from October 15 to January 15.