From CMS –
Yesterday, the Social Security Administration (SSA) posted a statement regarding their annual systems maintenance activities, set to begin Saturday, February 15th, at 3:00 pm ET and continue until Tuesday, February 18th, at 5:00 am ET. During this limited period, verification of Social Security Numbers and other related data via the Data Services Hub (the Hub) will be unavailable.
It is important to note that HealthCare.gov will be online and functional for consumers – but several of the functionalities that rely on SSA data, like determining if consumers qualify for a tax credit, will not be available during that time period. Consumers may be able to complete their application during this time, but won’t be able to find out what they qualify for during the maintenance period.
What does this mean for assisters and consumers?
- Outreach and Enrollment Events: Assister event organizers should understand that some functionality may not be available for consumers after 3 pm ET Saturday, February 15th through 5 am ET Tuesday, February 18th
- Consumers with Completed Applications: Consumers who have completed their application and have received an eligibility determination before 3pm Saturday, February 15th should be able to shop and enroll with no impact throughout the day and weekend.
- Consumers with Incomplete Applications: Consumers who have not yet completed their application on February 15th can complete it during the SSA system maintenance time period; however, the system won’t be able to determine if the consumer qualifies for a tax credit. A consumer can save his or her application and return to Healthcare.gov on or after February 18th to find out what program the consumer qualifies for, pick a plan and complete his or her enrollment.
CMS will work with consumers to have their coverage start March 1. For those who are unable to finish their application and eligibility determination by midnight on Saturday but still want coverage starting March 1st, they can call the Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 beginning on February 18th to request coverage beginning on March 1st. As a reminder, consumers have until March 31st to sign up for new coverage during this year’s Marketplace open enrollment period.