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Domestic-violence victims get more time to enroll in health insurance

Health-insurance companies that offer coverage through the New York State of Health marketplace now must allow victims of domestic violence to enroll in insurance plans throughout the year.

The state Department of Financial Services said domestic violence victims are permitted to enroll in coverage at any time outside of the regular Nov. 1 through Jan. 31 yearly open enrollment period, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced Monday.

The year-round enrollment period for individual plans applies to insurance coverage purchased on or off the exchange, according to the department.

It applies to any member of a household who is a victim of domestic violence, including unmarried and dependent victims in the home, as well as victims of spousal abandonment, including their dependents.

For applications received by the 15th of each month, coverage would take effect on the first day of the following month. For applications received after the 15th of the month, coverage should take effect on the first day of the second following month.

The governor’s office said insurers may ask applicants to attest to their eligibility for the special enrollment period, but the companies and health maintenance organizations can’t impose “overly burdensome requirements” on them.

For more information, visit www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/health/hhs_special_enrollment.htm.