Many people can still enroll in Obamacare because of later deadlines

Last Friday was the deadline for signing up for individual health plans sold on HealthCare.gov, the federally run exchange that will serves residents of 39 states.

Two different states that will have their own marketplaces, Idaho along with Vermont, likewise had last Friday as their cutoff date for enrolling in plans, with coverage beginning brand-new Year’s Day.

Typically, after an open enrollment deadline passes, people would certainly not be able to sign up for coverage until next fall for 2019 plans unless they had a qualifying life event such as a marriage, birth of a child or loss of insurance coverage. The open enrollment window was cut in half by last year’s by the Trump administration.

however — along with the item is actually a very, very big ‘however’ — quite a few HealthCare.gov states along with areas of such states have been granted a special enrollment period that will year because of hurricanes along with different weather-related effects in those areas.

Two of the biggest states in terms of Obamacare sign-up numbers — Florida along with Texas — are both subject to the special enrollment periods related to hurricanes.

Residents in areas with special enrollment periods who were affected by the storms have until Dec. 31 to sign up for Obamacare plans that will take effect the following day, although they have to start the enrollment process by first phoning HealthCare.gov’s call center.

The special enrollment periods apply to 53 counties in Texas, including Dallas along that has a large section of the eastern part of the state, as well as all of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands along with parts of Mississippi. along with in Maine, residents affected by severe windstorms also are eligible for the later deadline.

Pollitz said that will she has been told that will 60 percent of Texas residents are eligible for the special enrollment period.

She said that will Obamacare navigators, who help people sign up for coverage, “started off promoting the heck out of” the special enrollment period on Monday.

Before then, navigators tended not to mention those periods, because they were trying to get would certainly-be customers signed up by the better-known deadline of last Friday.

Helen Shaheen, supervisor at the Health Council of South Florida, said, “We’re trying to get as much messaging out there as possible to make people aware that will there is actually an extension of the deadine in Florida.”

Shaheen, whose organization helps Miami-Dade County residents sign up for Obamacare, said a Facebook message she posted on Saturday promoting special enrollment had a higher response level than any different message she posted during the normal open ernollment period.

“We have quite a few appointments today,” she said.

Shaheen also said demand for Obamacare plans was so strong during the regular open enrollment that will her group expects the item saw the number of sign-ups increase by about 20 percent compared with last year for the same time period.

however she said there remains widespread ignorance about the deadlines.

Obamacare advocates expect that will total enrollment for 2018 plans will be significantly lower than the tally for 2017 because of the shorter sign-up deadlines in much of the country, lack of awareness about those deadlines, along with cutbacks to advertising along with outreach budgets promoting enrollment by the Trump administration.

Gaba of ACASignups.net said the longer deadlines in some states, as well as the special enrollment periods granted for hurricane-affected people that will year, present the opportunity to make up for some of the losses that will will result by the shorter HealthCare.gov deadline.

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