On March 6, 2015 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois announced that they will begin accepting guaranteed issue (no preexisting conditions) applications completed off the exchange beginning Monday, March 9, 2015. Off exchange applications are applications completed by those who have incomes to high to qualify for a subsidy via the “Marketplace” a.k.a. Healthcare.gov This new ‘Special Enrollment Period’ will last until April 30, 2015. For those who do qualify for a subsidy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois will be accepting on exchange applications completed via the “Marketplace” a.k.a. Healthcare.gov beginning March 15, 2015 and ending April 30, 2015. Below is the new announcement from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois:

Tax Filing Special Enrollment Period Available for On- and Off- Marketplace Enrollment SEP for Off-Marketplace Plans Opens March 9!

As was announced last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a new Special Enrollment Period (SEP), meant to help consumers avoid tax penalties for not obtaining health insurance coverage this year.

The SEP for Marketplace enrollment begins Sunday, March 15.

We will offer this SEP for off-Marketplace enrollment also. To assist more of our customers with getting coverage beginning April 1, we are opening the tax SEP for coverage purchased from us on Monday, March 9. This gives them an extra week to enroll for an April 1 effective date when choosing an off-Marketplace plan.

Below are instructions on how to enroll OFF the exchange during this new Special Enrollment Period:

  • You will need to use this paper application.
  • On the paper application, you will need to select #8 (“Other”) as the SEP reason and must write “TAX SEP” in the Home Use Only box in the upper right corner. Paper applications for an off-Marketplace plan sent to us will only be accepted under the SEP if the application has the SEP designation selected.
  • You can then fax the application to (630) 582-1043. Or you can mail the application to:
    Small Business Insurance Services Inc.
    430 Northampton Lane
    Roselle, IL. 60172
    Or, you can email the application to [email protected]. This manual process is only necessary for the special tax SEP.

Below are instructions on how to enroll ON the exchange during this new Special Enrollment Period

If applicants are subsidy eligible and want to apply for financial assistance, they will need to apply directly online on the Marketplace starting March 15 via healthcare.gov. Using a broker to guide you through this process costs you nothing extra. It is highly recommended to call a licensed broker toll free at 866-724-7123 to help guide you through the application process at Healthcare.gov

Enrollment effective dates will follow the 15th of the month rule, as follows:

  • Applications submitted from March 9 through March 15 will have an April 1 effective date.
  • Applications submitted March 16 through April 15 will have a May 1 effective date.
  • Applications submitted April 16 through April 30 will have a June 1 effective date.
  • Members cannot ask for a different effective date.

By indicating “TAX SEP” on the application for insurance, the applicant is self-attesting that they qualify for the special enrollment period because they:

  • had to pay a penalty for not having coverage in 2014,
  • are not currently enrolled in a plan on healthcare.gov, and
  • only found out about the tax penalty or understood the implications when they had to pay a tax penalty with their income tax return for 2014.

To see prices and plan options click the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois logo below. Then click the orange “Just Browsing” button at the bottom of the “Are you eligible for special enrollment” page:


For expert guidance in Illinois please call (630) 674-1551. Outside of Illinois please call toll free (866) 724-7123.

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