Consumers Given More Time To Get Healthcare.gov Coverage That Starts In January
Administration officials announced Friday that consumers would be permitted to enroll in a health insurance plan on healthcare.gov as late as Dec. 23 for coverage that begins on Jan. 1 next year.
Wall Street Journal: Health-Law Sign-Up Period Extended for a Week
The Obama administration said Friday it has reached an agreement with insurers to give people an extra week in December to sign up for coverage in time for Jan. 1, 2014, to take into account the problems with the federally run health exchange. Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services said that the previous Dec. 15 deadline for people to apply for coverage taking effect Jan. 1 had been pushed back a week, to Dec. 23 (Radnofsky, 11/22).
The New York Times: Health Law’s Enrollment Period Is Extended By 8 Days
Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said officials recognized that consumers might need more time to compare and select health insurance plans because of the technical problems that have plagued the online federal insurance marketplace since it opened at the beginning of last month (Shear and Pear, 11/22).
USA Today: HHS Pushes Back Enrollment Deadline
HHS Spokeswoman Julie Bataille said the decision was made in consultation with insurers, who assured the government that they will be able to enroll those customers by the beginning of the new year (Korte, 11/22).
CNN: Extended: Obamacare Enrollment Deadline For January 1 Coverage
It is not entirely clear how the change will be enacted to enable insurers offering policies on the exchanges to process applications. Bataille said in future months, an application will still have to be completed by the 15th in order to secure insurance by the first of the next month. People buying policies will have to make their first premium payment on or before December 31 in order to be insured on January 1 (Wolf, 11/22).
Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Enrollment Deadline Extended By One Week
The one-week extension of the enrollment deadline is the latest in a series of changes the administration has made in the schedule for Obamacare. Thursday, officials announced that next fall’s open enrollment period for coverage would start a month later than scheduled — in mid-November rather than mid-October (Levey, 11/22).
Politico: HHS To Push Deadline For Jan. 1 Health Coverage
The website problems combined with health plan cancellations have heightened concern about people not being able to enroll — and not being covered by Jan. 1. This gives them another week to apply.
But that means insurers have less time to process the applications and make sure that people would be able to access care if they had to on the first day benefits are available (Norman 11/22).
Reuters: Americans Get Extra Week To Sign Up For Obamacare As Website Improves
That decision reflects, in part, optimism that the website will continue to improve: the site will soon be able to handle 50,000 simultaneous users, said Jeffrey Zients, the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov adviser, and 800,000 people per day, largely because of the more than 300 software and other fixes that technology teams have made to the site over the last seven weeks (11/22).
National Journal: Obamacare Enrollment Deadline Extended
Some stakeholders have speculated that CMS might delay the March 31 enrollment cutoff, giving consumers more time to sign up because the problems with HealthCare.gov effectively shaved off one month from the enrollment window. CMS Communications Director Julie Bataille said CMS is not considering that option "at this time" (Novack and Baker, 11/22).