To Extend Some Obamacare Enrollment Past March 31 Deadline: Report
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[March 26, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The Obama
administration will grant an extension to people who say they are unable
to enroll in the new healthcare program by next Monday's deadline, the
Washington Post reported on Tuesday, quoting federal officials.
The Post said people who started to apply for Obamacare coverage
through the HealthCare.gov website but cannot finish by Monday would
have until about the middle of April to seek an extension. The
administration is scheduled to announce the change on Wednesday, the
People could qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on
HealthCare.gov to indicate they tried to enroll before the deadline.
The Post said the method would be based on an honor system and that
the government would not try to determine if the person was being
Sources close to the Obama administration told Reuters last week
that it would soon issue new Obamacare guidelines allowing people to
enroll in health coverage after the March 31 deadline, but only
under certain circumstances.
The sources said the new federal guidelines for consumers in the 36
states served by the federal health insurance marketplace and its
HealthCare.gov website, would allow people to enroll after March 31
if they had tried earlier and were prevented by system problems
including technical glitches.
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President Barack Obama's signature Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, requires most Americans to
be enrolled in health coverage by March 31 or pay a penalty. It was
not clear how much of an effort a potential applicant would have to
make in order to qualify for a special enrollment period.
Last December, the administration granted special enrollment periods
to thousands of people unable to complete enrollment on
HealthCare.gov for coverage beginning January 1. Similar steps have
been expected for the March 31 enrollment deadline for several
(Reporting by Peter Cooney; additional reporting by David Morgan;
editing by Eric Walsh)
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