Health Insurance’s Rolling Admissions

May 21, 2014

The deadline has passed, but it’s not too late! No, we’re not talking about taxes — hope everyone filed on time!

The deadline in question was the March 31st deadline marking the end of the open enrollment period for health insurance on the public exchanges. A related deadline was April 30th, the hard deadline for the “high risk” subset of the population with plans poised to be cancelled.

The public exchange enrollment numbers continued to tick upwards in the weeks following the March deadline, reaching 8 million as of April 19th, 2014, the date the last official tally was reported. While enrollment numbers are slowing, it has become clear that even though the deadline has passed, some people continue to enroll.

The exceptions to the original deadline were well-documented — “high risk” patients, people in states with glitch-ridden exchanges, people who started to enroll before the deadline, but were not able to complete their applications, and people who were insured under a group health plan that is dissolving.

A lesser known fact is that the deadline for employer-sponsored insurance is similarly flexible. While October is typically when employer-sponsored health insurance is open for enrollment, many different situations merit exceptions and enable employees to enroll year-round. Here are just a few:

  • Starting a new job and enrolling in a health plan with a new employer for the first time
  • Leaving a job and losing employer-sponsored insurance
  • Getting married and wanting to add a spouse to an employee’s coverage
  • Turning 26 and becoming ineligible to be on one’s parents’ insurance

Bottom line, even though the deadline passed long ago, it was not a firm one and people without insurance still have options.

Are you one of them?

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