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CMS released an announcement Wednesday, March 25th, that they will allow issuers of qualified health plans and stand-alone dental plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace and State Based Exchanges to extend binder payment and ongoing premium payment deadlines during the COVID-19 crisis.

Typically, binder payments of new policies must be made by the effective date of the policy, though some carriers do allow up to 30 days past the effective date. Ongoing payments usually have grace periods of 30 days if your policy is without a tax credit, or 90 days if a tax credit is applied to your policy. Policies that remain unpaid at the end of the respective grace period are terminated by the insurance carrier.

This CMS announcement will give issuers the ability to extend the deadline for a binder payment to be made, and allow them to delay the start of the grace periods already in place,  hopefully giving policyholders some relief from worrying about their insurance being cancelled due to nonpayment at a time when health insurance is so evidently vital to our country.

It is important to remember, however, that once the grace period starts, premium payments must be paid up in full so the policy does not terminate. Your insurance carrier will be sending out information about any extension policies they decide on, so please make sure to be checking your mail and email.

If you or someone you know has lost coverage during this time, please have them call American Exchange. We are committed to #DoingOurPart and helping our community by explaining their health insurance options.

For more FAQs and CMS actions in response to COVID-19, click on the links below.For the guidance on payments and grace period: FAQs on availability and usage of telehealth services through private health insurance coverage: FAQs on prescription drugs and COVID-19 in individual and small group markets: All other COVID-19 related topics: