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Will people in hurricane-affected areas have more time to sign up for 2018 coverage?

Yes, although the extension is not automatic – you must apply for the extra time.  Open Enrollment for 2018 coverage can be extended through December 31, 2017 using a new special enrollment period (SEP).  You can apply for this SEP by calling the federal marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596 (not through your healthcare.gov 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.   Although Puerto Rico does not have a Marketplace, residents who move to the U.S. mainland from these areas in Puerto Rico could use the extra time to enroll.  This hurricane-SEP could also apply in other areas if they are affected by a hurricane-related weather event before December 15.

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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.