The open enrollment period in New York for the 2020 coverage was from November 1st, 2019 through February 7th, 2020. Residents of this state were allowed to enroll in health insurance New York plans during this period. In the past too, the state has expanded open enrollment period and is expected to the extent the open enrollment period in the future too. Since this state uses a state-run health insurance marketplace in place of the federally run health insurance marketplace, legislators of this state are free to extend the open enrollment period if they find that it is required.
When Individuals Can Enroll in Health Insurance in New York
All the residents of the New York state are required to enroll in health insurance plans during the open enrollment period. Only individuals experiencing a qualifying life event can enroll outside the open enrollment period, as they may be eligible to enroll during a special enrollment period. The special enrollment period is generally a 60-day period when individuals are allowed to enroll in a major medical health insurance plan.
Special Enrollment Period for Individuals with Qualifying Life Events
According to the Affordable Care Act, individuals are not able to obtain major medical health coverage outside the open enrollment period without a qualifying life event. A qualifying life event triggers a 60-day special enrollment period during which individuals with qualifying events can enroll for a health plan and they are a guarantee of their application getting approved. Some of the conditions during which individuals become eligible for qualifying life events are:
Loss of essential health coverage
If individuals or their dependent loss health coverage meeting government standards, then individuals will become eligible for qualifying life events.
Change in Family Size
If individuals get married, divorced, have adopted a child, or a death has occurred in the family, then qualifying life event will be triggered for the individual.
Change in citizenship status
If an individual becomes a citizen or national of the U.S. then qualifying life events will be triggered.
Change in Subsidy eligibility
If an individual becomes eligible or loses subsidies eligibility, then he/she will qualify for a special enrollment period based on their qualifying life event.
If an individual loses, change or enroll in coverage due to an error made by an officer, agent, or employee of the Exchange or the Department of Health and Human Services, then the person becomes eligible for qualifying life event.
Move to a New Area
Individual upon moving to a new area becomes eligible for a special enrollment period due to this qualifying life event.
Individuals should keep in mind that to become eligible to enroll outside the open enrollment period they need to prove that they are experiencing a qualifying life event.
End Date of the Open Enrollment Period in New York
As legislators of the New York state are free to extend open enrollment period, thus in 2020 they extended the end date of the open enrollment period to February 7th, 2020. Thus, the open enrollment period in New York was more than twice as long as the federal open enrollment period. However, if an individual purchased a health plan on January 31st, then the plan will have an effective date of February 1st, 2020.
Can Individuals Enroll in Health Plan on Not Experiencing a Qualifying Life Event?
To enroll in a major medical health plan, individuals should enroll only during the annual open enrollment period of their state, or if they experience a qualifying life event then during a special enrollment period. Thus, individuals cannot enroll in a health plan outside the open enrollment period on not experiencing a qualifying life event. If individuals fail to enroll in a health plan during the open enrollment period and if they do not experience a qualifying life event to avail special enrollment period, then they will remain uninsured for the coverage year. Thus, it is significant for individuals to not to miss the open enrollment window. Besides, individuals should also be aware that short-term health plans are also not available in the New York state, so they don’t have this option available to have at least some coverage for the year.
Coverage options for Individuals who miss the Open Enrollment Period
Individuals unfortunately cannot enroll in a major medical plan if they miss the New York open enrollment period or if they do not qualify for a special enrollment period. Luckily few options are available for them, as they can obtain coverage through other government programs like Medicaid and CHIP that do not have an open enrollment period. Individuals who qualify for Medicaid or CHIP can enroll in these plans during any time of the year. However, they need to keep in mind that to qualify for CHIP or Medicaid they need to meet the income requirement, under which they have to make below 133% of the federal poverty level to qualify for these programs. Individuals who are disabled, pregnant, or medically needy but don’t meet the income requirement can apply for Medicaid, as there are chances of them getting accepted under this program.
How to Enroll in Health Plan during New York Open Enrollment Period
New York residents who are looking to enroll in a health plan during the state’s open enrollment period can enroll either through the state health insurance exchange or through the leading health insurance portals. The health insurance portals offer plenty of online tools that help people find the best plan that will cater to their coverage need as well as their budget. Besides, health insurance portals also help people to know if they qualify for a government subsidy that considerably reduces their monthly premium amount.