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Just like most of the Affordable Care Act implementation, the enrollment deadline is causing plenty of consumer confusion
While navigators and application counselors are burning the midnight oil trying to get consumers through the enrollment process, they’re also working against rampant misinformation. Consumers are making frequent mistakes amid the confusion.
1 Believing the March 31 deadline does not apply to them. In the past week or so, many have also heard news reports of extended deadlines
2Assuming they can get coverage outside the exchanges any time. Only a qualifying life event would allow them to add coverage later, such as the birth of child.
3Shrugging off the penalty since it’s only $95. Many fail to realize the penalty is $95 per adult, plus $47.50 per child, or 1% of their household income-whichever is greater.
4Not investigating plans outside of the exchanges. Those who don’t qualify for subsidies don’t have to wait in those long lines.
5Assuming their coverage begins immediately. Few consumers realize their coverage is also dependent on paying their first premium as well as the timing of their enrollment date. Communicate to them as explicitly as possible when benefits will actually begin.