District of Columbia: DEADLINE EXTENDED until Wednesday, Feb. 6th!

This Just In from DC Health Link...

DC Health Link Extends 2019 Open Enrollment Deadline to Wednesday, Feb. 6

Washington, DC­­ – DC residents will have an additional six days to sign up for 2019 health insurance coverage through DC Health Link.  The new deadline to sign up is 11:59pm on Wednesday, February 6.  Individuals who sign up by that deadline will have coverage beginning March 1, 2019.

DC Health Link customer service representatives will be available today at (855) 532-5465 from 8:00am to 8:00pm and on Monday, February 4th through Wednesday, February 6th to work with individuals seeking to enroll in health insurance coverage effective March 1. In-person assistance will also be available at enrollment centers throughout the District to assist residents with the enrollment process through February 6th.

Additionally, there will be enrollment opportunities tomorrow at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the Wilson Building Open House on Monday, and two DC DMV locations on Tuesday and Wednesday. If residents are unable to connect with assistance by the deadline, they should send an email that includes their contact information and the nature of the difficulties experienced to info@dchealthlink.com. DC Health Link staff will follow up with these consumers and will work with them to complete their enrollment for coverage effective March 1, 2019. 

A DC law requires all residents to have health coverage in 2019, get an exemption or pay a tax penalty on their DC taxes. The penalty is based on the number of months an individual or family goes without health coverage. For someone who goes without coverage for a full year, the penalty is: $695 for each adult and $347.50 for each child, up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of family income that is over the federal tax filing threshold, whichever is greater. More details about the tax penalty.

I'm gonna guess that this is the main reason for the extension--as I've noted before, the DC exchange appears to have done a pretty poor job of letting residents KNOW that they still have the coverage requirement, which completely defeats the point of having it.

BACKGROUND

The Affordable Care Act provides individuals, families, and small businesses in the District of Columbia with affordable options for quality health insurance. DC Health Link is the District’s online health insurance marketplace which allows visitors to shop, compare, and enroll in coverage that fits their needs and budgets.

Open Enrollment for individuals and families began November 1, 2018 and ends February 6, 2019. There are 25 private health insurance options from CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente for individuals and families. Eligible District residents can enroll in a health insurance plan online through DCHealthLink.com or by calling (855) 532-LINK [5465]. Small businesses—as well as individuals and families eligible for Medicaid—can enroll through DCHealthLink.com at any point.