Shocker, we know.
The Obama administration is once again giving people extra time to enroll in a health care plan, technically pushing the Obamacare enrollment deadline to mid-April.
The Obama administration says it will extend the March 31 deadline for signing up for health care for people who have had trouble finishing enrollment. The “special enrollment period” will be targeted at people who begin the process before the deadline but who encounter problems or who have complicated family situations, officials said.
More than five million people have signed up in the state and federal exchanges, and administration officials say volume has been very heavy on the websites in the final days.
Wait, it gets even better. Consumers can simply check the box saying they tried to enroll before the deadline, something that will be enforced using the ever-strict “honor system.”
The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health-care plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.
Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.
Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.
Less than two weeks ago, Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, testified before Congress that the enrollment period would not be delayed.
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said Wednesday that the Obama administration would not extend the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance or delay the requirement for most Americans to have coverage.
And she declined to say whether the administration was still committed to its original goal of enrolling seven million people in private coverage through federal and state exchanges by March 31.
Testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee, Ms. Sebelius said categorically that the administration would not delay the “individual mandate,” under which most Americans must have insurance or pay a tax penalty. In addition, she said that officials would not extend the six-month open enrollment period, scheduled to end on March 31.
The RNC has issued this statement regarding the delay:
“Another day, another ObamaCare delay from the same Obama Administration that won’t work with Republicans to help Americans suffering from the unintended consequences of the Democrats’ failed healthcare law. Democrats in leadership may say they are doubling down on ObamaCare but you have to wonder how many more unilateral delays their candidates running in 2014 can withstand.” – RNC Chairman Reince Priebus