Individuals who applied for health insurance through the state’s Health Benefit Exchange by the Dec. 23 deadline may have to pay the full cost of medical care or prescription drugs while the state and insurance companies work to confirm their enrollment and process their payment.

The exchange advised residents this week about steps to guarantee coverage starting Jan. 1, even though some people may not receive ID cards until later in the month.

People will be entitled to reimbursement for covered services once their application is complete, according to a spokesperson for the Exchange.

The retroactive procedure applies to applications started or submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 23.

Individuals will have their insurance benefits “retroactively configured” to Jan. 1 if they are determined eligible and select and purchase a health plan by Jan. 15.

The procedure to make insurance policies retroactive could affect more than half of the total applicants for insurance through the state exchange. For more information, see or call 855-923-4633.