Special Enrollment Periods

Updated numbers from Maryland Health Connect:

MORE THAN 21,500 MARYLANDERS OBTAIN HEALTH COVERAGE THROUGH STATE SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS

  • Special Enrollments for Coronavirus Emergency, Tax Filers Allow Uninsured Additional Opportunities to Enroll Through Maryland Health Connection

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange today announced that more than 21,500 residents have enrolled in coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection. Earlier this month, the deadlines for both special enrollment periods were extended to accommodate growing health concerns as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the new tax filing deadline.

The coronavirus special enrollment period, which began a month ago and now runs through June 15, has resulted in more than 19,000 residents obtaining health coverage — 61 percent in Medicaid and the remainder in private insurance, with most of those qualifying for financial help to lower the cost of the plan.

via press release from MNsure:

Don’t Wait: MNsure's COVID-19 Emergency Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured Minnesotans ends Tuesday at Midnight

Uninsured Minnesotans have until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, to enroll in coverage through MNsure’s COVID-19 Emergency Special Enrollment Period. Those who enroll through this SEP will have coverage that retroactively begins April 1. Minnesotans can shop and compare plans and see if they qualify for financial help to pay for their plan by using MNsure’s plan comparison tool.

Access Health CT, Connecticut's ACA exchange, originally offered a short COVID-specific Special Enrollment Period through April 2nd. When the original deadline approached, they, like most of the other state-based ACA exchanges, bumped that deadline out...until April 17th, aka tomorrow (Friday).

CT's COVID SEP has always been stricter than mos; they require Conecticut residents to call the exchange as opposed to simply enrolling online. Other state-based exchanges have either made their deadlines much later in the first place (California and DC placed their deadlines in June out of the gate) or they extended them a second time, like Rhode Island and Maryland. In Connecticut's case, however, it doesn't look like they plan on bumping it out a second time:

New Special Enrollment Period For Uninsured Ends Friday, April 17

On March 20th, the Vermont Health Connect ACA exchange joined other state-based exchanges in launching a formal COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period.

There was some confusion about the original deadline (they said "month long" which suggested April 20th, but a note on their website last week set it as April 17th, which is this Friday).

However, today they've updated that note:

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, Vermont Health Connect has opened a Special Enrollment Period until May 15, 2020. During this time, any uninsured Vermonter can sign up for a Qualified Health Plan through Vermont Health Connect. Qualified families can also get financial help paying for coverage.. Please call us at 1-855-899-9600 to learn more.

Unlike Connecticut, Nevada and Washington State, it doesn't sound like you necessarily have to call the VT exchange to actually enroll, but I'd recommend doing so anyway since I'm not sure how they're working it logistically.

This just in via Covered California:

Covered California Enrolls Tens of Thousands as Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic Hits California Households

  • More than 58,000 people have signed up for coverage through Covered California since March 20, when a special-enrollment period was announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Covered California has seen a tremendous surge in consumers visiting CoveredCA.com and the website’s Medi-Cal page.
  • The special-enrollment period allows anyone uninsured and eligible to enroll in health care coverage through Covered California to sign up through June 30.
  • Consumers can enroll in as little as 30 minutes, either through CoveredCA.com or over the phone with the help of one of Covered California’s thousands of Certified Insurance Agents or enrollers.
  • In addition, Medi-Cal enrollment is open year-round for consumers who qualify.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced on Monday that 58,400 people had enrolled in health care coverage since the exchange announced a special- enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pace of sign-ups has been nearly three times the level that Covered California saw during the same period in 2019.

Back on March 23rd, I noted that while every other state-based ACA exchange has launched an official COVID-19-specific Special Enrollment Period, there are two ACA exchanges which have refused to do so. One of them is the mothership, HealthCare.Gov, which is run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) and which hosts a whopping 38 states. The other one is Your Health Idaho:

I contacted the exchange last week to see what the deal was re. a COVID-19 SEP and they kicked the ball over to the state Insurance Dept:

COVID-19 (coronavirus) is not currently considered grounds for a Special Enrollment Period in Idaho. Questions around the potential offering of an SEP would be best answered by the Idaho Department of Insurance. This really falls within their regulatory authority. YHI will follow their guidance and support whatever decision is made.

I did indeed contact the Idaho DOI, but I didn't hear back from them until today. Here's what they had to say:

via HealthSource RI:

Health Coverage Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Extended through April 30, 2020

  •  Special Enrollment Period has been extended through April 30th, 2020

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (April 13, 2020) — HealthSource RI has extended the limited-time Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that was established following Governor Raimondo’s State of Emergency declaration in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This SEP provides an opportunity for uninsured Rhode Islanders to purchase coverage through April 30, 2020. Coverage will begin on the first of the month following the application.

Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. When completing the online enrollment form, Rhode Islanders should select the “other” SEP event and indicate COVID-19 or coronavirus as the explanation. Once approved, customers will need to choose a plan and pay for their first month of coverage.

via the Washington Healthplan Finder:

Washington Health Benefit Exchange Reminds Individuals Impacted by COVID-19 of the Health Insurance Options available now through Washington Healthplanfinder

  • Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) today is reminding uninsured individuals impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Washington that the special enrollment period is extended through May 8, 2020, for coverage beginning May 1, 2020.

Washingtonians who may qualify for health and dental coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder using existing special enrollment periods include individuals who:

via MNsure, this includes their ongoing ACA exchange Special Enrollment Period but also explains other options for Minnesotans as well:

Health Insurance Options through MNsure during COVID-19

April 7, 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn.—MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange, reminds Minnesotans who have recently lost a job, experienced a reduction in hours, or are otherwise uninsured to visit MNsure.org to get connected to health insurance. On MNsure.org, Minnesotans looking for health insurance coverage can compare plans and see if they qualify for financial help to cover the cost of insurance premiums or low-cost or no-cost health insurance either through Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare.

Here’s what you need to know

Uninsured? Sign up now.

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

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