Question: My eligibility results say this: “You must choose a health plan by December 07, 2013.To choose a health plan, click the “Choose a Health Plan” button below.” I do not understand why I have to choose a plan by Dec 7th. I thought the deadline for coverage to start on Jan 1 2014 was Dec 23rd. If open enrollment lasts until March 31st why do I have to choose by Dec 7th? If I don’t will I lose my chance to enroll in a plan for 2014?
Answer: Upon conditional approval, you are given 30 days to select a plan. (That may account for the first date - Dec. 7th). By design, 30 days was thought to be more than enough time to select a plan. Now that the application deadline for January 1, 2014 coverage has been moved back to December 23rd, a person applying today has 16 days to select a plan and complete their application. A plan must be selected before your application data can be forwarded to the appropriate insurance carrier - Anthem, Kaiser etc.. It’s the carrier’s responsibility to collect your initial payment, so they’d like to have that done ASAP. It was intended that your coverage would not start until you had paid your first premium. Given the first month or so of the open enrollment period was FUBAR, the date for collecting the initial premium for 1/1/14 coverage was extended into the 2nd week in January. So, yes you can drag your plan selection to Dec 23rd and be officially covered on Jan 1 (though I don’t know why you’d want to create that kind of stress), but don’t expect to get your insurance card until late January. If you do not complete an application by March 31st you will lose your chance to be covered in 2014.