Federal health officials have just released official guidance Wednesday afternoon on who can still enroll in health plans after the March 31 coverage deadline. There are two types of enrollment accommodations made by the administration.
First, people who tried to sign up by March 31 but couldn't make it through the system because of high volume will have "limited" time to sign up after the deadline has passed, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said. This coverage will start May 1, and those enrollees won't be responsible for paying the individual mandate penalty for the month of April. CMS is accepting paper applications through April 7.
Meanwhile, CMS also spelled out who qualifies for the "special enrollment period" allowed under the law. These are people who can enroll after the deadline because of complex situations. CMS explained the accommodations for people who fall into 10 categories, like: suffering from an illness or a natural disaster, experiencing enrollment errors or problems with enrollment.
CMS is scheduled to host a 2 p.m. conference call on how people can still enroll after March 31. I'll provide an update from that call.