This just in from my inbox: The closed “open enrollment” period is cracked open for some:
Covered California Enrollment Opportunity for COBRA & Cal-COBRA Participants
Covered California, the California state health insurance exchange marketplace established as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has launched a limited, special enrollment period for people who have COBRA or Cal-COBRA health insurance and who would like to switch to an exchange health insurance plan.
People with health coverage through federal COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) or state Cal-COBRA are eligible to shop for and buy health insurance through Covered California from May 15 through July 15, 2014. The designated two-month window mirrors a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ruling earlier this month allowing COBRA enrollees to buy plans through the federal exchange until July 1.
Under COBRA and Cal-COBRA, individuals experiencing a job loss can continue the coverage they had through their employer if they pay the full cost. In some cases, particularly if an individual or family qualifies for a premium subsidy, they may be able to purchase more affordable health coverage through the federal or state exchanges.
Individuals who have exhausted their COBRA or Cal-COBRA coverage, and those in their COBRA or Cal-COBRA election period who have not yet enrolled, continue to be eligible to purchase coverage in the Covered California marketplace. The new, special enrollment period applies only to those currently enrolled through COBRA or Cal-COBRA. Prior to this recent announcement, current COBRA or Cal-COBRA beneficiaries would not be eligible to move to Covered California until the next Open Enrollment (11/15/2014 – 2/15/2015).
Before making a final decision, please make sure your clients understand if they decide to drop COBRA or Cal-COBRA and enroll in a Covered California plan, they cannot change their mind and go back to COBRA or Cal-COBRA.
* Here’s the upshot: Health Insurance coverage through COBRA / Cal-COBRA is expensive but may have superior coverage and Dr networks to the CA Exchange policies. If you need help figuring out what’s best for you, please contact your Insurance broker and ask.
And now, once again, you know more than most.