QUESTION

I’m not going to be able to sign up for 2018 coverage during this year’s open enrollment because my home was damaged in the hurricane/wildfire. But I’m hoping I’ll be able to return to my home by early the next year. Can I sign up for coverage then?

Individuals with no coverage | Open and Special Enrollment Periods
ANSWER

For people residing in or moving from areas affected by the hurricanes that the federal government has declared a major disaster or an emergency, an “exceptional circumstances” SEP is available from December 16 to December 31 to enroll into 2018 coverage. A list of federal disaster areas is available here and includes counties in Florida, Texas, and other states. This SEP would also apply to those individuals moving from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland. Individuals can contact the Marketplace Call Center (HealthCare.gov) at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to request enrollment using this SEP.

After December 31, 2017, you may still be eligible for a special enrollment period (SEP) based on “exceptional circumstances” since the hurricane/wildfire kept you from enrolling during open enrollment. You should contact the Marketplace Call Center (HealthCare.gov) at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) when you are ready to enroll into coverage. If you are denied a SEP, you can appeal the decision. (45 C.F.R. § 155.420; CMS, 2017 Hurricane Disasters - SEPs, Termination of Coverage and Grace Period Flexibilities, Sept. 28, 2017).

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