White House announces new deadline for health insurance sign-ups

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Healthcare shoppers and their agents will have an extra week in December to sign up for health insurance before all Americans are required to carry coverage on Jan. 1, 2014. The change pushes the deadline for healthcare applications from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23.

The White House announced the delay today after coming to an agreement with insurers, who expressed concerns that technical issues with HealthCare.gov were preventing many users from applying for coverage.

Julie Bataille, a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told reporters the administration was confident the deadline extension would allow enough time for carriers to process enrollment applications by the new year.

“We believe that that will be able to happen,” she said.

The administration is working to ensure HealthCare.gov will be able to handle a late December traffic surge as a result of the announcement, said Jeff Zients, the White House adviser in charge of fixing the embattled exchange website.

The announcement is the second regarding changes in healthcare enrollment for the Obama administration, who earlier said it is planning to push back the open-enrollment period during which Americans sign up for coverage in 2015.

The White House hopes both changes will reassure carriers who are worried over instability in the insurance market and resulting rate increases in coming years.

The delay in 2015’s signup period will allow carriers “the benefit of more time to evaluate their experiences during the 2014 plan year and allow them to take into account those who may enroll late, including young adults, before setting 2015 rates,” the Health and Human Services department said.

The decision will not affect this year’s open enrollment period.

 
  • Arthro on 11/22/2013 1:07:25 PM

    Too many people are under the impression that the only way to get insurance is by signing up through Healthcare.gov. If a subsidy isn't involved, they can purchase through an insurance agent. The insurance industry needs to do a better job communicating this to the public. Check out the Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield ads... http://www.ijreview.com/2013/11/96426-obamacare-website-mocked-insurance-company/

  • James Kenyon on 11/22/2013 2:19:21 PM

    That is correct, the Marketplace/Exchange is the only source available from which a subsidy can be made. Also, most insurance company websites have a calculators to help people determine if financial assistance is available - or contact your local professional insurance agent for help.

  • Paul on 11/22/2013 3:12:05 PM

    your both right - the problem is the only people that will sign up for this POS are the ones needing subsidy

  • Jon on 11/23/2013 5:14:08 PM

    Even if a subsidy is involved they can still sign up with the help of an agent

  • Jon on 11/23/2013 5:25:31 PM

    An agent can still help you even if you purchase through the exchange.

  • Arthro on 11/25/2013 8:25:13 AM

    Jon, I assume you mean that an agent can help someone sign up through www.healthcare.gov with out any compensation...? Or, are you saying that an agent can be compensated?

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