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What if people in hurricane-affected areas need help signing up for 2017 coverage?

A special hurricane-related SEP is also available for people who experienced a qualifying life event (such as loss of other coverage or a move) and who have not been able to complete the application process and enroll in coverage for 2017.  You can apply for this SEP by calling the federal marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596 (not through your account.)  You will have to attest to residing in — or moving from — areas affected by a hurricane-related weather event in 2017.   Affected areas are those designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as eligible to receive “individual assistance” or “public assistance.”  In the states of Florida, and Georgia, all counties have this designation.   In the state of Texas, 53 counties have this designation. In Puerto Rico, 31 municipalities have this designation.

This SEP will allow you to select a new 2017 health plan through the marketplace or make changes to your existing 2017 enrollment through the marketplace at any time through December 31, 2017.  Affected individuals will be able to request a retroactive effective date for coverage, based on the date of when they would otherwise have applied for coverage under the original SEP (for example, using the permanent move SEP).   The federal marketplace will waive pre-enrollment verification requirements for this hurricane SEP.  Contact the marketplace or a certified navigator or other in-person assister for more information.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.