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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Employees Have Extra Time to Sign Up for January 1st Health Coverage

November 25, 2013
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Employees now have until December 23, 2013 to sign up for individual health insurance coverage through the new Health Insurance Exchanges -- to be covered on January 1, 2014. Originally the deadline was December 15th.
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Individual Health Insurance Exchanges - Important Dates

The dates and deadlines have changed slightly over the last month. Here's a summary of the dates for individual health insurance coverage - current as of today, November 25, 2013.
  • December 23, 2013: The last day to enroll in an individual Exchange health plan, if employees want coverage to start on January 1, 2014. (Updated from December 15th.)

  • January 1, 2014: Earliest coverage date for new individual qualified health plans.

  • March 31, 2014: Open enrollment for qualified health plans ends. If employees miss this date, they will likely have to wait until fall 2014 to enroll, unless they have a qualifying event. Then employees can enroll in a special enrollment period. To confirm, March 31 is the last day to sign up for a qualified health plan.

  • October 15, 2014 - December 7, 2014: Open enrollment period for 2015 qualified health plan coverage. 

Individual Health Insurance Exchanges - Tips for Signing Up for Coverage 

Here are a few tips for employees on signing up for coverage through the Health Insurance Exchanges:

  • Start the process now. Even though the deadline has been extended one week, encourage employees to start the process now. There will likely be a rush of people accessing the Exchange websites the first week in December. Click here to find your state's Exchange website.

  • Work with a health insurance broker. Employers can coordinate with a health insurance broker to help employees with coverage options. For example, bring in a health insurance broker to work one-on-one with employees just like you would with a 401(K) advisor. A health insurance broker can also help employees explore coverage options outside of the Exchanges (especially if they are not eligible for premium tax credits).

  • Gather paperwork before starting the application. Employees will need basic personal information and income information. For most people this means a recent paystub for income earners in their household.

See also: How to Sign Up for Individual Health Insurance via the Marketplaces.

 

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