The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has extended this years open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act after technical issues with the federal exchanges enrollment site Healthcare.gov prevented some individuals from signing up for health care coverage Saturday, just one day before the Feb. 15 deadline.
A technical glitch with the website prevented individuals from verifying their income. The glitch was fixed Saturday night, according to a spokeswoman from the Department of Health and Human Services. Consumers were advised at that time to log in to their marketplace account and finish their 2015 application for health care coverage.
CMS said Monday it has issued a special enrollment period (SEP) from Feb. 16-Feb. 22 for individuals affected by the glitch.
Certain circumstances across consumer enrollment channels (such as Healthcare.gov and the marketplace call center) leading up to the Feb. 15, 2015 deadline have kept some consumers from completing the enrollment process despite their efforts to meet the deadline, the agency said in an alert announcing the SEP.
CMS says it will provide an SEP to consumers who currently are not enrolled in coverage through the federally-facilitated marketplace, have not been terminated from coverage purchased through the marketplace during the 2015 open enrollment period, and attest that they attempted to enroll during the annual open enrollment period but did not complete the process by Feb. 15 because they experienced a technical issue with Healthcare.gov that prevented them from completing enrollment by Feb. 15 or an extensive call center wait on Feb. 13, 14 or 15.
Enrollments completed during the SEP will have an effective date of March 1, 2015, to align with the coverage effective date the consumer would have received had they been able to complete the enrollment process by Feb. 15.
Consumers will not be able to access the SEP through the direct enrollment process but instead should contact the federally-facilitated marketplace through the call center or via Healthcare.gov, the agency says.
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