Benefits Buzz

Last Month of the ACA Individual Health Enrollment Season

Posted on February 28th, 2014

Today is the last day of February which means we are only one month away from the end of the first open enrollment period for individual health plans. March 31st is the last day that individuals can sign up for coverage without a qualifying event, but there is one big question that is still looming – Will the open enrollment period get extended to a later date? 

Enrollment numbers through the Exchanges have been increasing, but it looks like they will be lower than originally projected. There were also all of the technical problems with the public exchange web sites when they first became operational. As a result, many people are wondering if the Obama administration will push the deadline to a later date. It seems unlikely that there will be an extension based on previous comments from White House officials, but it’s something we’ll be monitoring closely. 

Assuming the deadline remains unchanged, only individuals that experience a qualifying event will be able to sign up for coverage or make plan changes after March 31st. Qualifying events include circumstances such as an involuntary loss of minimum essential coverage or a change in family structure (i.e. marriage, divorce, newborn child).

There will also be an annual enrollment period every year moving forward that will allow anyone to sign up for coverage or make plan changes without a qualifying event. The next annual enrollment period will occur between November 15, 2014 and January 15, 2015.

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The materials contained within this communication are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal or tax advice.

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