It’s April 1, 2014 and this is no April fool’s joke. The deadline to enroll in Obamacare for 2014 has come and gone and you didn’t sign up. There’s no hope for you or is there?
The law does state that in order to receive an effective date of 2014 and not pay the penalty for 2014 you must have enrolled by 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2014 but there are some exceptions
The law allows for special enrollment periods also known as SEPS. Special enrollment periods allow individuals to enroll in a qualified health plan outside of enrollment.
Included in these SEPS are life changes such as loss of job, marriage, birth of a child, cancellation of short term policy, or termination of COBRA benefits. These life changing events will allow consumers to alter their coverage or enroll in coverage anytime during the year after the event.
Other reasons for being able to still enroll include enrollment error such as the crash of the website yesterday during a peak time period.
Due to high consumer traffic across the various enrollment channels (such as healthcare.gov or the Marketplace call center) leading up to the March 31 deadline consumers may not have been able to meet the mandatory deadline. For these people a limited amount of additional time will be available to finish the application and enrollment period.
These people who were “in line” to complete their application but were unable to will receive effective dates of May 1 if there enrollment is completed within a determined time period.
If none of these scenarios apply to you and you still find yourself without health insurance coverage then the next open enrollment period is in October of this year and you will be faced with the 2014 penalty.
If you’re still confused contact a local health insurance agent or healthcare.gov for more information.