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Open enrollment deadline loosened

On March 26, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that those who were in line to purchase health coverage on the Federal Marketplace ( will have until April 15, 2014 to complete their transaction.

How will this work?

Essentially, consumers who are interested in purchasing individual coverage should log on to their account before April 15, 2014. Once there, in order to receive the extension, the request can be made by checking a box to indicate that an attempt to enroll was made before March 31, 2014, but difficulties were experienced with the process. These consumer attestations will not be verified by the government.

After April 15, 2014, consumers interested in purchasing coverage will be expected to call the Marketplace call center (800-318-2596) to make a request. After that date, the government will require proof that consumers qualify to purchase a plan outside of the open enrollment period.

Under what circumstances will individuals and families be able to purchase coverage after April 15? 

1. Qualifying Life Events. Some examples: Getting married, having a baby, a change in job status, and others. Here’s a list from

2. Complex Cases. Guidance was issued on March 26 regarding different complex scenarios under which individuals would qualify for a special enrollment period. For the Department of Health and Human Services list and descriptions, click here.

Want to read more?

Here are a few articles from March 26, 2014:

From the Washington Post

From the New York Times

From LifeHealthPro

Have questions?  Post them at, or email them to

This post was contributed by Shannon Saksewski (Health Education Program Manager, Detroit Regional Chamber).  Shannon can be contacted at