Missed the health care deadline?

It's not too late to get covered.
Associated Press
Apr 1, 2014

A few routes remain open for those who missed the health care law's big enrollment deadline.

Millions may be eligible for a second chance to sign up for subsidized insurance this year. And people who get coverage after the deadline can still avoid, or at least reduce, the fine for going uninsured.

Here are five options for those still without insurance:

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GRACE PERIOD

This special break was created for anyone who began enrolling in an insurance marketplace by Monday's deadline but didn't finish. That includes people stymied by website outages or overwhelmed phone lines, missing information on applications, and other problems or confusion.

Those who started an application on HealthCare.gov by March 31 should log on and finish it as soon as possible. Federal officials say they will take what time is necessary to work through cases pending.

People applying online will have until April 15 to finish, administration spokesman Aaron Albright said Tuesday. Paper applications will be accepted until April 7.

Consumers will have to attest that they had tried to enroll by March 31.

Rules vary in the 14 states running their own insurance marketplaces.

For most people, going through a marketplace opens the door to lower costs. Those who use the grace period will get coverage starting May 1 and won't owe a fine.

USE A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD

The government also is offering special extensions for a host of problems that might have prevented people from signing up through a marketplace: Natural disasters. Domestic abuse. A serious illness. Mistakes by application counselors. Errors by insurance companies.

To seek a "special enrollment period," contact the federal call center, at 1-800-318-2596, or your state marketplace and explain what went wrong. It's on the honor system. If the extension is approved, that brings another 60 days to enroll.

Also, at any time during the year, certain life events — such as changing jobs, getting married or divorced, or becoming a parent — open a 60-day window to sign up for marketplace coverage.

SIGN UP FOR MEDICAID

Those who qualify can still enroll in Medicaid — there's no deadline. Eligibility is based on income and varies from state to state. About half the states expanded their Medicaid programs. The main beneficiaries of the change are adults earning up to about $16,100 per year, with no children living at home. Previously, Medicaid was limited mostly to poor children and their parents and people with disabilities.

BUY INSURANCE OUTSIDE THE MARKETPLACES

Buyers can always go directly to an insurance company, but it may be expensive. Plans bought outside the marketplaces don't come with government subsidies that hold down the cost for people with low or mid-level incomes. But they do include the law's consumer protections. For example, insurers can't turn down customers because of pre-existing medical conditions.

Even after the deadline, buying a plan that meets the law's essential coverage standard reduces the penalty owed, which is based on the number of months without coverage.

The fine for going uninsured all year is the greater of two formulas: about 1 percent of household income above the tax-filing threshold of $10,150 or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child under 18, up to $285 per family. It's due to the IRS in April 2015.

GET READY FOR NEXT TIME

Open enrollment for 2015 is coming later this year. It's scheduled to begin Nov. 15 and run just three months. That's another chance to get covered or switch into a plan with subsidies.

Supporters of the law are calling on President Barack Obama to make things easier next time around.

The advocacy group Families USA suggested a bunch of improvements Tuesday, including more face-to-face sign-ups, coordinating enrollment with tax-filing season so people better understand the fines, and improving coordination with Medicaid programs.

Something to think about: The uninsured penalty next year rises to 2 percent of income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child.

 

Comments

There you go again

In other word, Obama somehow authorized an extension of Obamacare. How does he do it?!?!

The Big Dog's back

Because Obama cares.

anthras

Re:"Because Obama cares."

Yes I agree Obama does care he doesn't want to lose control of the senate and after the elections this November he will then focus on the 2016 elections.

He is gloating that there are 7.1 million signed up for Obamacare however the WH conveniently will not release any figures of the number that have signed up and actually paid a premium and has a valid policy

They do not mention the number of persons that signed up that were placed into medicaid and paid for by the tax payers.

They do not advise of the millions of persons that have been cancelled and how many of the persons that have signed up are doing so because they were cancelled in lieu of persons that were previously uninsured.

They do not tell us how many persons are now forced to live on part time pay in lieu of their previous full time job.

Dr Toby Cosgrove advised that they are seeing 75% of those signing up for Obamacare will be paying a higher premium and the hospitals will be getting less. Many persons are receiving subsidies and who is going to pay the subsidies along with all the growing number on medicaid?

coasterfan

It's amusing that conservatives quickly accepted statistics last Fall that showed that ACHA signup was going slowly. Fast forward 5 months, and now that the stats show that sign-up has exceeded original predictions... well, now suddenly they can't trust the stats.

In other words, if the stats reinforce their biased point-of-view, the stats are "correct", and when the stats show that their point-of-view was wrong, then the stats are "incorrect".

anthras

Cfan I am asking that you please point out to me where I have a problem accepting or not accepting the statistics. What I am questioning is the lack of statistics.

Paul Harvey would give a bit of information that most persons have heard about then he would give some additional facts about that subject that were unknown to most persons and would conclude " Now you know the rest of the story"

We do hear of the number of persons that have signed up and now I want to hear the rest of the story such as of those signed up how many have paid a premium and have valid health care coverage? At a recent press conference J Carney advised he did not know although the insurance companies have advised they must report such figures to the government. How many were previously insured and were cancelled and now just getting their insurance back and most likely paying more in premiums with higher deductibles? How many went into medicaid at tax payers expense? How many persons went from full time to part time jobs? How many were uninsured and now actually have valid coverage?

Can anyone out there give me the rest of the story.

Darwin's choice

" because obama cares"......April Fools...!!!!!

Good one Dog....!!

Dinghy Gal

Who's going to pay? Why you of course!

coasterfan

And who paid for the healthcare of the 40 million uninsured BEFORE Obamacare? Why you and me, of course. You don't actually think that hospitals treated the uninsured for free, did you? We ended up paying for it through higher premiums.

Thanks to the ACHA, everyone is required to have health care, which means that - even those who receive gov't subsidies - most of the newly insured will be paying something for their insurance.

It's simple: we can continue paying for 100% of the healthcare of the uninsured, or we can (via Obamacare) encourage them to pay for their own healthcare - so we don't have to. I thought you Republicans were always whining about "taking personal responsibility" and not sponging off the hard work of others?

Personal Responsibility is exactly what the ACHA encourages. People pay for their own healthcare so you and I don't have to. Those who remember history pre-2009 remember that there was a time not long ago when the GOP and leading Republican groups such as the Heritage Foundation were in FAVOR of a nationalized healthcare system like Obamacare. Interestingly, they changed their stance literally overnight when Obama took up the torch.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

1. There never were 40+ million uninsured.
2. Please reread this and tell me how authoritarian you sound, "Thanks to the ACHA, everyone is required to have health care..."
3. How is one encouraged to pay for their own healthcare when we don't have to if we are the ones paying for their healthcare so they don't have to? Please make up your mind.
4. "Personal responsibility" is NOT something that can be "thankfully forced" on people. How responsible are the citizens of North Korea who, under penalty of labor camp time or death, must display a portrait of their dictator in their house and it must be immaculately clean upon inspection by their government...the one who urges their "responsibility".
5. Again, people pay for their health care with our money so we don't pay for their health care when...they don't already?
6. Have you ever actually read the Heritage Proposal and compared it to the 3,000+ original pages of the ACA to see just how similar or different they are? Or is it just fun to parrot other people who seem to know what they are talking about and never open themselves up to questions from those who want to know the reasons for the things they say?

How do you do that? How do you just say things with no context, links, proof, reason, or explanation and just expect people to take that as a point?

Additionally, is THIS the best we can do for health care law? Aren't you sick and tired of throwing yourself under the bus for a party so that you outsource your thought, reason, and personal dignity to them to carry for you? Or if you truly want single payer why don't you join people like me to demand something else other than this homunculus that was passed by a SINGLE DEMOCRAT PARTY (despite your cries of "conservative plan!") late one evening close to Christmas in the hollowed-out husk of a bill from the House without any reasonable public purview?

Or...wait. I get it. You like many other Democrats are invested in these insurers, aren't you? You actually are doing this to guarantee that private companies (it's ok to rail against "big oil" though, right?) are given tax dollars directly as profit. Well I'll be darned.

Haha, that's it, isn't it? This whole time! That's why you defend this so blindly and refuse any kind of conversation on how to actually improve the lives of individuals instead of the state.

Wow...I'm taken aback, coasterfan.

Or, I could be wrong. You are welcome to squash any of my points above. You are my senior in years and have spent probably as long as I have been alive teaching people. Teach me. Either be a kind, gentle hand or just publicly eviscerate my counterpoints here in front of everyone.

Or, coasterfan, dare I ever hope that you and I can actually agree that this law isn't the best we as Americans can do and will actually work to replace it with a non-corporatist, authoritarian mess that sees net coverage of people instead of losses.

The Big Dog's back

I'm beginning to believe you get your info from your comic books.

The Big Dog's back

Corporatist and Authoritarian, 1st 2 words in the right wingnut manual.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

You are welcome to contend that the ACA isn't such a policy and by extension the only party to vote to enact it is the same. You are also free to cite which comics I apparently get my info from then discredit those points as being from a comic doesn't make something any less true if in fact it is. Stop beating around the bush, Big Dog.

Disprove me! Convince me! Every time I post I leave a welcome mat out for you, coaster, or anyone to challenge my thoughts and logic with their own. So far the only one to have done that with any kind of regularity has been Nemesis and he's a (in your words, I presume) "right wingnut" like I am!

Why can't you explain the things you claim to believe in to others? Why can't you build your own points and arguments instead of always trying to tear down others, and not even doing an adequate job at that? Come on, Big Dog. Do you read your own party's material? Their doctrine? Their philosophical points that you can at least throw out as if they were your own? To where, whom, or what do you base any of your thoughts, ideas, and philosophies?

sugar

In some segments of society they see subsidized as free!

coasterfan

And in other segments of society, they actually don't believe that everyone should have access to healthcare. They insist that they aren't guilty of class warfare, even as they work hard to cut food stamps and prevent raising the minimum wage.

The people receiving the BIGGEST handout/subsidies are the rich. They benefit from huge tax breaks and loopholes, and are a far bigger drain on our economy than Republicans would have us believe... In essence, the 1% are the biggest "takers" in America.

anthras

Re:" They insist that they aren't guilty of class warfare, even as they work hard to cut food stamps and prevent raising the minimum wage."

We should not cut aid to those that really need it however we should do what we must to balance the budget. If it means in addition to cutting we must also increase revenue via higher taxes then we must do that however there are many things that could be cut. Do we need to spend $400,000.00 for a white fiberglass camel to place in front of an embassy, or $30,000.00 for a portrait of a government official ?

Sooner or later the deficit budgets must stop. How much longer can this country continue to spend as they do? Japan had a recession and the government tried to spend their way out of it and it has become to be known as the lost decade as it did not work. If we can just spend what ever amount we wish to attempt to get the economy going why can't the government just print $250,000.00 for each family ergo they would spend the money and the economy would be fixed.

Dr. Information

Funny because most of the national debt bill each year is due to welfare. Wrong again coaster.

I

So, after months of the government being unable to give accurate figures about the number of sign-ups, the day after the supposed close of enrollment they are suddenly, magically, able to declare that they have reached their goal. Amazing! Does anyone believe that Obama was ever going to claim otherwise? But hey, that's our Liar-in-Chief...Should we expect less?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

No questions were allowed at his press conference where he was able to declare this. Questions such as:

"What does 'signed up' mean?"

"How many net policies are we up or down?"

"How else will you unilaterally, illegally change this law without warning?"

"How many of those who 'signed up' paid for private coverage and how many signed up for expanded Medicaid coverage?"

"How much has been spent on implementing and advertising the ACA that can be split up among the supposed 7.1 million signatures."

"How many who have signed up were uninsured before this law swept over the entire country affecting everyone when a smaller, focused law could have helped them so much more?"

We can only shake our heads when these sort of questions are barely raised by the U.S. press on the rare occasion our President deigns them worthy of his answers. Yet instead, we find things like this brought up in a U.K. publication:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/...

Steve P

Its not the law of the land or the Constitution, its rule of the Obama regime. They claim 6 million signed up, minus the 5-7 million who has already lost their coverage compliments of the unaffordable health act.

Donegan

It is sad to see what the Democrats can do when allowed full reign of the government. They have turned the most powerful government on the planet into insurance salesmen. That all Obama will be known for, a insurance pusher. A lot like a snakeoil salesman just with force.
As for the 7.1 million figure I do not believe there is a Democrat that can count that high let alone not lie about it.

OMG.LOL.WT_

We probably could have had some kind of coverage through taxation but so many of the legislators wanted the insurance companies to get rich. (probably stockholders in said companies) Capitalism at its best.

SamAdams

Yes, all of us had to pay for the uninsured in the form of higher hospital bills and insurance premiums before Obamacare. Some of you (yes, you, Coasterfan) insist that there's no substantive difference between paying more then, or paying more now. But actually, there IS a difference, and it's a big one: IT COSTS US ALL EVEN MORE NOW!

So how is it that FORCING people to have health insurance to lower the costs for all of us has resulted in FORCING people to have health insurance that's dramatically INCREASED costs? Could it be that it's, you know, a really ill-conceived law?

OMG.LOL.WT_

We don’t need more Insurance Companies, we need Less Insurance Companies. What we need in this country is a Single Payer System. The Insurance Companies are the problem, not the solution.
Open enrollment? “That ain’t enough”!!
Waiving pre-existing conditions?? “That ain’t enough”!!
Eliminating the most basic insurance function, the underwriting of risks?”That ain’t enough”!!
And the Insurance Companies say, “But, if you eliminate all of that, there is no reason for our existence!!”
And we should say, as do the French, Exactement !!!
There is no reason to tolerate an industry or business which makes its profits solely upon betting for or against the likelihood of sickness and disability of its customers. And profiting by denying medical care to those the company thinks will become sick or disabled.
As far as being “Merchants of Death”, the insurance industry is a far greater danger to the American populace than all of the illegal drug cartels in the world.
PS. Is there any reason to allow insurance companies to exist? Given that their bets on Life and Death make them the moral equivalent of a game of Russian Roulette?
Only as the French do, to allow those who wish to bet with the insurance companies to do so. Like going to Monte Carlo. As long as any transaction between any French citizen and any insurance company does not directly, or indirectly, cost any other Frenchman a single franc.
But the social contract is that all citizens shall be provided coverage and it be paid by the French Government as the single payer.
We should only support legislation that creates a new total-coverage public health insurance plan option. The private-insurer monopoly is unsustainable. Democrats who don’t support a real public plan option simply do not support real health care reform. The line in the sand is the public option.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

It is refreshing to hear from someone who actually wants single payer to step up and declare it instead of letting their ideals and passions be ran over roughshod by the ACA and scrambling to make excuses for it. While our versions of what should replace it differ, I respect you standing up for what you believe in and demanding better of your government. Thanks.

SamAdams

And how do you propose to pay for such a thing? With the 70% tax rates "enjoyed" by other countries?