Some consumers in the state now have an extra two weeks to purchase their cover from the exchange.
Although most states across the country faced a deadline of last Sunday in which to purchase their health insurance coverage, the New York Health Department announced on Friday that residents of the state would have an additional two weeks in which to complete the process.
That said, this extension for using the insurance exchange in New York applies only to certain people.
The extension has not been put in place in order to give people who haven’t done anything until now the opportunity to procrastinate for another two weeks. Instead, it is meant to buy a bit of extra time for New Yorkers who have already started the process of purchasing their health insurance, but who need a bit of extra time in order to finish. Moreover, this extension also applies only to those who are purchasing insurance through the exchange, and not by way of other channels.
The health insurance enrollment period had already run for three months, but the hope is to boost sign-ups.
The New York State Health Department is hopeful that this final extension will give the added push that will be required in order to convince people who are not insured to take the added step and to enroll in coverage for this year.
The department also pointed out that the official deadline for buying a health plan was still at 11:59 on Sunday night. That said, people who had started their enrollment but who were not able to complete it in time for that cut-off now have the opportunity to polish things off by February 28 to ensure that they will have the insurance coverage that they need for this year.
The coverage for people who purchase their policies between today and February 28 will see their coverage become effective as of April 1, said the department. According to state officials, there have been 430,000 new enrollments in Medicaid or private health insurance through the exchange, as of February 4. This is the tally since November, when the exchange was re-launched. Since October 2013, there have been over two million enrollments.