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What You Need to Know About the 3/31/14 Open Enrollment Deadline

Story Content Provided by the nystateofhealth on 3/31/14

The last day for individuals and families to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan through NY State of Health was March 31st. But what if the deadline was missed? Consumers may lose their chance to have health insurance in 2014. Most consumers will have to wait until November 15th to enroll in a plan that will be effective in 2015. Consumers might have to pay a federal tax penalty.

There are very limited exceptions, called Qualifying Life Events, to the March 31st deadline. If a consumer has a Qualifying Life Event, they are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. To qualify for a Special Enrollment Period consumers must tell NY State of Health about the Qualifying Life Event within 60 days of the event.

Qualifying Life Events Eligible for a Special Enrollment Period:

  • Individual or dependent loses minimum essential coverage due to: job loss; divorce; death of a spouse; becoming ineligible for Medicaid or Child Health Plus; expiration of COBRA; or health plan is decertified Marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption Gaining status as a citizen, national, or lawfully present individual

  • Consumer is newly eligible or ineligible for tax credits and/or cost sharing reductions Permanent move to an area that has different health plan options

  • Marketplace staff or contractor enrollment error Qualified Health Plan violated a provision of its contract American Indians can enroll or change plans one time per month throughout the year Other exceptional circumstances, in accordance with HHS guidelines

Not considered a qualifying life event:

  • Voluntarily dropping other health coverage

  • Being terminated for not paying your premiums

  • Losing coverage that is not minimum essential coverage