Who knows how many late-comers will plea for special enrollment
According to the now-legendary Charles Gaba-a tech whiz who created his own site to track Affordable Care Act (ACA) sign ups-the health insurance exchanges hit the symbolic goal of 7 million enrollments. The number comes from a Congressional Budget Office projection, even though federal officials never quite stated that 7 million was a goal.
Gaba received national attention for his tracking site because it cobbled together reliable source data in near real time. He was also transparent about his sources and his methodology.
At the end of open enrollment, Gaba estimated 6 million to 12 million sign ups in private plans, on and off the exchanges. However, exchange leaders have yet to reveal how many consumers were “in line” when enrollment ended and will have to wait for their final application processing. Likewise, it may be impossible to predict how many consumers will plea for extensions under the guidance that allows special enrollment periods for those with extenuating circumstances.
The Department of Health and Human Services does not have the statutory authority to extend open enrollment, but the department has made it somewhat easy for consumers to sign up late if they attest that they had technical problems with the exchange platform. Meanwhile, Oregon has extended its deadline until April 30 because of technical issues. Maryland promises that anyone who called in by March 31 would receive “special assistance” to enroll in a plan with coverage starting May 1, after the state scrapped its faulty platform entirely.
Connecticut and Washington, however, are not allowing any late enrollments.
Extended deadlines for those who attest to issues and exceptions can be found here.