District of Columbia: DC Health Link takes their #COVID19 SEP one step further for *small business* employees

District of Columbia

As I've reported before, the DC Health Link exchange is one of a dozen state-based ACA exchanges which is currently offering a COVID-19-specific Special Enrollment Period during which uninsured residents can #GetCovered. The deadline is June 15th.

A few days ago, however, they announced an interesting expansion on the COVID SEP...one specifically intended for employees of small businesses which offer ACA SHOP plans to their employees which these employees haven't enrolled in as of yet:

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.

Outside of their employer’s annual open enrollment period, an employee is required to have a qualifying life event such as marriage, birth of a child, or loss of other healthcare coverage—to be able to enroll in their employer’s health insurance plan. The DCHBX Executive Board expanded qualifying life events to include COVID-19. This action permits any current employee of a small business that purchases health insurance through DC Health Link to enroll in their employer’s health plan.

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.

All DC Health Link health insurers cover COVID-19 diagnosis, testing, and treatment without any cost-sharing (no deductibles, no coinsurance, and no copays). This applies to all levels of coverage including catastrophic plans and HSA-compatible high deductible health plans.

For more information about DC Health Link and Coronavirus. DC Health Link enrollees can find a useful and easy to read summary chart on this dedicated webpage highlighting how DC Health Link health insurers cover COVID-19 related services.