Apr. 22—Eight states that operate their own government-run health insurance marketplaces continued their enrollments after the April 15 extended deadline for the federally run marketplaces, according to a published report.

The Hill reported that some states and the District of Columbia have opted to extend their enrollments to April 30, or two weeks longer than the extended enrollments allowed in the 32 other federally and state-run marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.

The additional time is coming in states such as Oregon, which had extensive technical failures. Insurance coverage advocates said such failures kept many applicants from completing the sign-up process for insurance coverage.

Impact of State Extensions

The extensions may push the total marketplace enrollments past the 8 million sign ups announced by President Barack Obama when the April 15 signup deadline passed. The federal government allowed two more weeks following the formal March 30 end of enrollment because technical failures plagued many of the 34 exchanges it was operating, and those failures also prevented many applicants from completing their sign ups.

The law allowed states to set later enrollment timeframes. Additionally, insurers selling individual policies that met the law’s requirements were allowed to keep selling plans, but it appears that none have done that.

Federal rules allow additional enrollments to continue throughout the year if special circumstances arise, such as changes in marital status or employment, or interstate relocations. Recently, the Obama administration also issued controversial rules that allow applicants to sign up for plans if they attest that technical problems kept them from enrolling during the six-month enrollment period.

Some states are using case-by-case determinations of eligibility for extended enrollment, while others—like Connecticut and Rhode Island—have not announced deadlines for applicants stymied by technical hurdles.

Insurers have raised concerns that the lack of certainty about enrollment deadlines imposes greater unknowns on plans that have to begin proposing rates for 2015 soon based on their 2014 enrollee pools.

Image of State Exchanges Largely Positive

The extended enrollments could be boosted by unusually high opinions that residents of those states had about the marketplaces compared with people in states with federally run exchanges, according to new polling by the Morning Consult, a policy reporting site. The polling, taken from November through April and reported Monday, found that people had more positive experiences in states with largely broken exchanges compared with results reported by people who used the federal exchanges.

Publication Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014