For health coverage starting Jan. 1, deadline extended a day
Has the White House righted the Obamacare ship after a troubled launch?
This post comes from Christopher Weaver at partner site The Wall Street Journal.
Federal officials delayed the deadline to sign up for Jan. 1 coverage through the end of Christmas Eve, people familiar with the matter said.
The deadline was originally set for midnight on Dec. 23, but contractors managing the site changed configurations to allow users to sign up for the first wave of health-law coverage through Dec. 24, people familiar with the matter said.
"Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan 1," Julie Bataille, director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service's Office of Communications, said in a statement.
The extension was needed in part because technical problems continue to limit the volume of users that can navigate the site at once, and officials worried people attempting to sign up Monday might not be able to do so. The site has had a record day, with more than 1 million visits by midmorning, federal officials said on Twitter.
Consumers seeking coverage should attempt to sign up today anyway, Ms. Bataille said. "If you are aiming to get coverage January 1, you should try to sign up today."
News of the change was earlier reported by the Washington Post.
The change follows weeks of last-minute policy shifts for the administration. Last week, for instance, with only days before the enrollment deadline, the Obama administration said people whose plans were canceled would be exempted from a requirement that people buy coverage or pay a fee next year.
The late changes have rattled insurers and left some customers uncertain what options are available to them. Some health insurers say the changes could undermine their market by obscuring their ability to predict business risks and set prices accurately.
Consumers can sign up for 2014 health plans until March 31, but the January launch date will give a first taste of new private health plans available under the law. The law is ultimately expected to cut the number of uninsured by 30 million.
But initial sign-up tallies are expected to fall far short of expectations: Only 365,000 people nationwide navigated through technologically troubled online marketplaces to enroll in private plans in October and November. On Friday, President Obama told reporters a million more had enrolled in the first weeks of December, but the totals still fall short of a 3.5 million-enrollee target for the private plans by the year's end.
More from The Wall Street Journal:
why is Obama forcing obamacare, to help people who can afford healthcare? if they can or can't afore
healthcare so be, it's up to them on how they budget there money.
Wouldn't it be cheaper to just offer cash for a vote and do away with the bribes for votes we have now?
dropping kids at union K12 daycare, ebt, obamacare, medicare, Medicaid, ss, section 8, wic and on and on and on
"Anticipating high demand..."????? Seriously??? WTF is wrong with politicians?????
High demand my a**!!!!!!! If anybody buys into that load of crap, then I've got some wonderful beach-front property in Montana I'm giving away.
douch:I`m sorry your life isn`t as good as mine.My life is 1000% better in the last 5 years.I retired
with a nice pension and have doubled my money thanks to Obama`s stock market.I don`t have to read about the unfunded wars clowns like Bush started to try to unite the little people on.Apparently
you fell hook,line and sinker for his lies.I like peace and prosperity.
CL:The actual number is over 2 million who`ve signed up for Obamacare.You should try reading from many sources like I do.I even read garbage publications like The Weekly Standard and Newsmax.
Those 2 are just for laughs because the Repubs have to lie since that can`t win issues by telling
the truth.Rush is your hero.I got a laugh when he lied about Stephanie Miller repeatedly the
other day.At the end of his rant he said"But she is a babe".No wonder so many women have
turned gay because of guys like him.
It`s nice to hear some of the 2 million people who have signed up for Obamacare say
"I`m saving over $300 a month with Obamacare".Of course, Republicans arn`t big
enough to admit that.
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