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States that have extended health insurance enrollment through 2022

Accounting Support • Oct 15, 2021
The health insurance open enrollment season for 2022 will pass by in the blink of an eye, putting additional strain on Americans as they attempt to decide whether or not to keep their
For the next year, states that have extended health insurance open enrollment through 2022

The health insurance open enrollment season for 2022 will pass by in the blink of an eye, putting additional strain on Americans as they attempt to decide whether or not to keep their current health insurance.

This year, 10 states and the federal government of Washington, D.C., rejected the Trump administration's 6-week health insurance open enrollment period, instead establishing new deadlines that would go beyond the federal government's 2022 deadline.

When Is Open Enrollment for Health Insurance?

The Open Enrollment Period, when you may enroll in a health insurance plan for 2022, lasts six weeks, beginning on November 1 and ending on January 15, 2022. Every other open enrollment period we've gone through until now has lasted two to four times longer. However, other states may challenge this seldom-used condition. There isn't much time left before the deadline.

When Is Open Enrollment Closed? It Depends on Where You Reside

So far, 11 jurisdictions have extended the deadline for enrolling in health insurance beyond the federal limit.

Instead of closing the health insurance open enrollment period on January 15, 2021, each state's individual health insurance market must be operational by the following deadlines, in order for insurers to participate in open enrollment for the 2022 plan year:

  • California, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C: November 1 – January 31
  • Minnesota: November 1 – December 22
  • Colorado, Washington, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Connecticut: November 1– January 15
  • Massachusetts and Rhode Island: November 1 – January 23

Is it possible that the other states will extend their health insurance open enrollment period?

The extension of health insurance open enrollment periods for the Affordable Care Act might be considered a partisan issue, with Democrats supporting longer enrollments and Republicans opposed to them. However, extended enrollment periods have been embraced by many people on both sides of the political spectrum in the past.

The dates for the next open enrollment for health insurance cannot be changed by every state. These three states operate their own exchange and may postpone open enrollment:

  • Idaho
  • Vermont
  • Maryland

Open enrollment can be extended at any time by the states, even once it has already begun. For example, Maryland delayed extending its open enrollment until the last day that it could do so.

COVID Special Enrollment Period

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted numerous aspects of life in 2021, including health insurance signups.

The federal and state Health Insurance Marketplaces were reopened for sign-ups. The Special Enrollment Period ran from February 15, 2021 through August 15, 2021. To enroll in or change an existing plan, you did not need to meet any special life circumstances.

Residents in the following states can still buy policies until the following dates:

  • California: December 31, 2021
  • Vermont: October 1, 2021
  • Connecticut: October 31, 2021
  • New Jersey: November 30, 2021
  • Washington, D.C.: through the end of the public health emergency
  • New York: December 31, 2021

Facing a Shortened Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period

The first Open Enrollment Period for Obamacare was 26 weeks long, which is half a year. The 2015 open enrollment period was cut from 16 to 13 weeks. For both 2016 and 2017, the health insurance Open Enrollment Period lasted 13 weeks.

In April 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services shocked insurance companies by cutting the 2018 Open Enrollment Period down to six weeks. By making the modification in the middle of the year, the government gave consumers little notice to get ready for a more intense enrollment period. Local community organizations that try to enroll their neighbors in healthcare were equally blindsided.

The Open Enrollment Period, on the other hand, has been reduced from six weeks to just six days since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. We've had it happen twice previously, and it appears to be the new norm.

The wait time for medical treatment is far shorter than you would think. Because Americans missed open enrollment in the previous enrollment period, they were losing health insurance; it was the first time that individual health plan membership fell under Obamacare's history.

Affordable Care Act Enrollment

Source: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

What's the significance of open enrollment for health insurance, anyway?

How healthy were you when you first bought health insurance? You pay your health insurer a few dollars each month, and they repay a lot of money if you require medical attention. There would be no cash for insurers to return if everyone waited until they became sick to get insurance.

To tackle this problem, the Affordable Care Act created the National Open Enrollment Period. Every year, beginning in November and ending in March, everyone is required to acquire or re-enroll in health insurance all at once under federal law. It becomes difficult to acquire healthcare outside of the Open Enrollment Period.

Why Is It Better To Have Longer Health Insurance Open Enrollment Periods?

Open enrollment is your best chance to:

With a six-week open enrollment period, a lot of flexibility evaporates. Because to lower advertising spending, there will be no warning for consumers before open enrollment begins. The federal government has even decided to cease nonprofit programs that advertise open enrollment and assist individuals in enrolling for insurance.

And This Year Isn’t Just Shorter

Over the previous few years, a number of adjustments were made that will significantly increase the influence of a shorter health insurance Open Enrollment Period. The Individual Mandate Is Over: Starting in 2019, the tax penalty for not having health insurance will be eliminated. This will eliminate one incentive to obtain health insurance on time, as stragglers may now use short-term insurance to cover gaps instead of waiting until the next year. Only four states have included a local individual requirement thus far. Stricter Special Enrollment Requirements: Previously, if you tried to join a plan outside of open enrollment due to a particular circumstance, the federal government would take your word for it. There are more stringent verification procedures in place this year, involving the timely submission of papers.

Non-Payment Loophole Being Closed: Some individuals had realized how to avoid paying their premiums throughout the months preceding open enrollment. They wagered that their insurance would be terminated slowly, if at all, so they quit buying it. For 2018, the five-finger discount loophole was closed. You'll now be able to switch to new coverage only if your old plan is paid in full. Consumers, particularly those who make a mistake and pay their bills late, may not be aware of the problem until it's too late.

Why would anyone try to shorten the health insurance open enrollment period?

Because insurance companies are typically hesitant to deal with a lengthy health insurance open enrollment, it might get in the way of your goals. Open enrollment must be brief enough for insurers to offer coverage without going bankrupt, while still being long enough for those who want to sign up to be able to. The 2022 health insurance open enrollment is now as short as it can be, given current legislation.

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