Not too Late! Affordable Care

Not too Late! Affordable Care

It’s Not Too Late: Affordable Care  J.McGinleySmith/ElHiSpano

Philadelphia – The 2015 Open Enrollment Period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as of February 15th, has officially ended.  But in an effort to accommodate those in unusual circumstances and confusion surrounding the process, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is offering a Special Enrollment Period [SEP], for eligible individuals to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The Special Enrollment Period is available to people with extenuating circumstances surrounding the initial sign-up. For information on who is eligible for this extended enrollment, HHS provides specific information on:

Beginning on March 15th and ending on April 30th, those eligible for the Special Enrollment include:                                       *Individuals not currently enrolled in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace; *Attest that they first became aware of the implications of the fine after the end of the open enrollment in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes; * Paid the fine for not having coverage in 2014.

According to Julia Cusick, “There is no deadline for signing up for Pennsylvania’s Medicaid or CHIP programs.  Adults under the age of 65 with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level ($16,243) for individuals and ($33,465) for a household of four are eligible for expanded Medicaid.”

Consumers may be eligible for the special enrollment, noted Ms. Cusick, “if they experience a qualifying life event,” such as losing health coverage through the loss of a job, a marriage or the birth of a child.

Events for Special Enrollment:

April 25th, from 10am – 3pm at Northeast Baptist Church, 4744 Tackawanna street, Phila. Pa. 19124

April 30th, 4pm – 7pm at the Offices of Rep. Rosita Youngblood, 310 W. Chelten Avenue, Phila. Pa. 19144

In a released statement, Keith Counihan, a spokesman for HHS, said, “We understand the requirement to have insurance is new, which is why HHS is providing this last chance for those who are uninsured, are paying a fee, and were not aware of or did not understand the implications of the fee with an opportunity to enroll in the affordable coverage for the rest of the year.”