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February 2015 St@teside

Open Enrollment Round-Up: Year 2 Signups Continue and States Prepare for Tax Season

February 15 marked the end of the second annual open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplaces. However, due to technological issues, and a number of state marketplaces have extended the timeframe for enrollment for anyone who was “in line” for coverage and had difficulty with the system. After being hit with unprecedented winter weather in the northeast, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also announced extensions of the open enrollment period until February 23 for anyone needing coverage for March 1.

Despite the extensions, marketplaces have begun to report on enrollment successes. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services reported that 11.4 million people have selected a plan this year, with 8.6 million in the 37 states using States with state-based marketplaces have also released enrollment totals for this year’s open enrollment (numbers below as of February 25, 2015):

  • California: As of February 15, 474,000 people selected qualified health plans (QHPs) through Covered California, and more than 779,000 consumers enrolled in Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, between November 15 and January 31.
  • ColoradoNearly 220,000 Coloradans enrolled in coverage through Connect for Health Colorado, with 139,652 in QHPs, 76,194 in Medicaid and 3,720 in CHP+ (Child Health Plan Plus). In addition, 24,884 individuals enrolled in dental plans.
  • Connecticut: Connecticut reported that during the 2015 open enrollment period, 204,358 residents enrolled in health coverage through the Access Health CT (AHCT) – 41,864 of those enrolled in QHPs and 162,494 were processed through AHCT into Medicaid.
  • Kentucky: Kynect has enrolled around 27,000 new enrollees in QHP coverage and over 55,000 people in Medicaid, for a total of about 82,000 newly covered Kentuckians.
  • Maryland: Maryland Health Connection enrolled a total of 264,245 Marylanders, with 119,096 enrolled in QHPs and 145,149 enrolled in Medicaid.
  • Massachusetts: As of February 19, Massachusetts Health Connector had 108,168 paid QHP enrollments.
  • Minnesota159,000 enrolled in MNsure as of February 15, with 60,092 in individual QHPs, 26,891 new enrollees in MinnesotaCare (Minnesota’s Basic Health Plan), and 72,017 new enrollees in Medical Assistance. In addition, 7,674 people have enrolled in a “dental-only” plan.
  • New YorkNew York State of Health reported that, as of February 15, nearly 408,000 individuals have enrolled in a QHP.
  • Rhode Island: As of February 15, HealthSource RI had 27,487 paid QHP enrollments, of which 7,539 were new enrollees.
  • WashingtonNearly 160,000 residents enrolled in QHPs, of which more than 66,000 were new customers to the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

Next on the horizon for states is tax filing season, when consumers will learn whether they are responsible to pay a penalty for lacking of insurance coverage. Eight states and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have announced special enrollment periods for anyone who learns they have to pay a tax penalty:
  • California will allow consumers to sign up between February 23 and April 30.
  • Connecticut has announced that it will have a month-long special enrollment period and will announce the timeframe by the end of February.
  • Kentucky will allow special enrollment between March 2 and April 30.
  • Maryland has established a special enrollment period that will run from March 15 through April 30.
  • Minnesota will allow residents to enroll from March 1 through April 30.
  • New York will allow enrollment between March 1 and April 30.
  • Vermont will allow individuals to select plans within 60 days of learning of the penalty, but only as late as May 31.
  • Washington will allow residents to enroll through April 17.

Individuals in the 37 states using will have from March 15 through April 30 to enroll if they say they first learned they were subject to the penalty for not having 2014 coverage after open enrollment closed on February 15. Other states are considering adopting similar special enrollment periods.

For a more in-depth summary of the latest special enrollment period announcements, check out this resource, which was developed by Manatt Health Solutions with support from the State Health Reform Assistance Network.