Consumers who got applications into the federally run public exchanges Monday will have until April 30 to choose plans.
Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said that Monday in a guide to the “in-line special enrollment period” process aimed at agents, navigators, certified application counselors and other exchange user “assisters.”
The official open enrollment period for individual commercial “qualified health plans” started Oct. 1 and ended March 31.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and state exchange managers developed the open enrollment period system to try to keep individual QHP buyers from using new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health insurance underwriting limits to wait until they get sick to pay for coverage.
From now until Nov. 15, consumers who want to buy individual QHP coverage normally would have to show that they qualify for a special enrollment period because they have gone through a major life change, such as the birth of a child or a loss of job, or because they qualify for a hardship exemption from the usual rules.
HHS has created a broad “in-line SEP” for consumers in the 37 states with HHS-run exchanges who say they were in line to buy coverage but had trouble completing the process.