The Obama administration is giving workers who have lost group health coverage an option many mistakenly thought they already had.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a 60-day special enrollment period for anyone who has COBRA group health benefits continuation coverage.
The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight, the HHS agency in charge of implementing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act commercial health insurance market provisions, announced the “SEP” for holders of COBRA coverage Friday in a bulletin.
The SEP started Friday and is set to end July 1.
The bulletin affects consumers using the federal exchanges run by HHS. It has no direct effect on residents of states with state-based exchanges.
HHS earlier put out regulations that let holders of employer-sponsored group health coverage sign up for individual coverage through the public exchanges during a 60-day period after the loss of group coverage.
HHS also let the people who paid for COBRA continuation coverage sign up for insurance through the public exchanges during a 60-day period after the COBRA coverage runs out.
But consumers eligible for COBRA coverage can keep it in force for up to 18 months.