As of April 29, 2015, survivors of domestic violence may apply for health insurance through healthcare.gov at ANY TIME. They do not need to wait for Open Enrollment. They qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) because they are survivors of domestic violence.
This important policy was released on May 6, 2015 by the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) in their weekly “assister newsletter” that gives guidance on ACA enrollment to Navigators and in-person assisters. This is formal CCIIO guidance—but the language has not yet been updated on healthcare.gov. The update should happen soon—but the policy is already in place.
To enroll, these consumers should call the Marketplace Call Center and share that they were a “survivor of DV”. It is important to use the phrase “survivor of DV” as it will help the Call Center initiate the appropriate process. The Call Center representative will be able to grant a SEP.
The SEP allowed consumers 60 days to pick a plan and get enrolled. Note that this policy applies to the federal Marketplace (healthcare.gov); some state-based Marketplaces also follow this policy (check with your state).
To get a SEP, consumers should:
- Call the Call Center at 1-800-318-2596
- Explain the situation by stating “I am a survivor of DV. I want a Special Enrollment to apply for health care.”
- The Call Center will grant a SEP and then consumers will have 60 days to pick and enroll in a plan.
Some survivors of domestic violence may qualify for significant financial help for the purchase of health insurance. The application will ask for information about income in order to determine what type of financial help will be available.