It’s official: HHS has confirmed that enrollment in the federal marketplace will effectively continue through April 15, 2014. This move follows the Monday release of a report from the left-leaning advocacy group Families USA, which notes that “Fully aligning the open enrollment period with the tax filing period would significantly increase enrollment.”
We strongly concur with the Administration’s move and with these enrollment conclusions drawn by Families USA. As we have noted, it is critical to coordinate enrollment with the disbursements of tax refunds – and, more specifically, to sell coverage when folks have the money to buy what is on offer. This move by HHS acknowledges that the financial calendars of uninsured Americans revolves around the tax season – and the enrollment extension is especially helpful this year, as many uninsured folks are just now learning about the tax penalties and their options under the ACA as they file their taxes.
Anticipating this move by HHS, Jackson Hewitt will continue to offer free application assistance to customers for Medicaid, CHIP, and the tax credit programs through April 15th. Americans who have filed elsewhere can also bring their returns to Jackson Hewitt for a free Refund Re-check – and get ACA help as well.
All of which is to say that midnight on April 15th is going to be an incredible celebration. But between now and then, we have work to do!