Friday, May 2, 2014

Special Enrollment Period for those with #COBRA

Family Voices Indiana shares the following information from In the Loop:

Today, HHS announced a new special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals who are currently receiving COBRA coverage. Until July 1, these consumers can terminate COBRA and receive an SEP to enroll in FFM coverage. As we saw in this post on In the Loop, consumers could save hundreds of dollars per month with this SEP.
So what’s new with this guidance? Normally, a consumer has three options regarding COBRA coverage:
  • decline an initial offer of COBRA coverage, get an SEP, and enroll in marketplace coverage;
  • switch from COBRA coverage to marketplace coverage during open enrollment; or
  • wait until the exhaustion of COBRA coverage to get an SEP.
So if an individual started receiving COBRA, dropping it prior to its expiration previously would not have been considered a loss of minimum essential coverage (MEC) and trigger an SEP.
Today, HHS recognized that many consumers may not have understood these options – and particularly the limits once open enrollment ended – since model COBRA notices did not sufficiently explain them. So those currently on COBRA can receive an SEP until July 1, 2014 to enroll in an FFM plan. Consumers should call the Call Center and inform representatives that they are calling about their COBRA benefits and the Marketplace

Here are the relevant documents:

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