What Can I Do If I Missed The March 31 Health Insurance Deadline?

March 31, 2014 was the deadline for North Dakotans to sign up for new Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota individual or family plans to receive 2014 coverage. Most Americans are required to have health insurance this year, or they will face a tax penalty from the federal government.

Even if you didn’t buy your plan by March 31, you still might be able to get a new health insurance plan in 2014:

  • If you have a significant life change such as getting married, divorced, moving to a new state, the birth or adoption of a child, or even some income changes after March 31, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period to sign up for 2014 coverage. Please call us at 1-800-280-BLUE (2583) to find out if you are eligible.
  • If you qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, you can enroll at any time. If you qualify for Medicaid, you can sign up anytime at healthcare.gov.
  •  If you lose health insurance through an employer after March 31, you can sign up for 2014 health insurance.
  • If you tried to purchase a plan on the North Dakota marketplace at healthcare.gov by March 31 and experienced difficulty completing your enrollment, you can also request an extension that may allow you more time to enroll in a marketplace plan for 2014.

The next enrollment period for health insurance begins on November 15, 2014, for coverage starting in 2015.

What if I have health insurance?
If you currently receive health insurance through your employer or through a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, the March 31 deadline does not apply to you. If you have insurance now, but you lose your coverage during 2014, you may qualify for a special enrollment period to select a new insurance plan.

If you are a current BCBSND member and have a non-grandfathered individual or family plan, and your plan is being discontinued in 2014 because of Affordable Care Act regulations, you will be automatically transferred to a new plan unless you tell us otherwise. Current members with plans being discontinued on May 1, 2014, need to enroll in a new BCBSND plan by April 30 to avoid a gap in coverage. If you aren’t sure about your personal situation, please call us at 1-800-280-BLUE (2583) and we’ll help you.

More information about health reform is available on our website, where you’ll find health reform basics and the latest health reform news.

Ryan Schuster is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

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