What is a deadline?
noun1. the time by which something must be finished or submitted; the latest time for finishing something.2. a line or limit that must not be passed.
People who can’t finish the online signup for Obamacare health insurance by midnight today because of website problems can seek extra time to finalize their application and still get covered by Jan. 1, according to a message posted on HealthCare.gov early this afternoon.
“We don’t want you to miss out if you’ve been trying to enroll,” the HHS message says. People who ran into “delays caused by heavy traffic to HealthCare.gov, maintenance periods, or other issues with our systems” should not worry. “We may be able to help you get covered as soon as January 1,” it says.
An insurance source said federal exchange officials have informed the industry that exceptions and assistance will be given to people who “legitimately tried to apply” and couldn’t finish. The source said that help isn’t meant to be a blanket extension of a deadline that’s already been pushed back twice. The insurers expect to get fuller details about the precise breadth of the policy in a call with federal health officials on Thursday.
Millions of people have gone to the state and federal health exchange websites this week. Some are still reporting problems getting through on the sites — especially HealthCare.gov — and long waits for help from the federal call center. The federal portal hasn’t crashed, but it’s not known how many people have encountered some kind of problem as they try to finish enrollment.