Americans seeking health insurance coverage through the federal exchange portal Healthcare.gov have long been told they needed to enroll in a plan by Dec. 15, then Dec. 23 in order to be covered by Jan. 1, according to The Verge. Although hundreds of thousands of residents have chosen a plan already, the Obama administration still expects an influx of shoppers will attempt to meet the deadline. Many Americans reported frustration after technical errors at both the federal and state-level exchange sites that caused plans to be canceled or submitted personal information to be lost.
According to Verge, the majority of these glitches were addressed by White House IT officials, however 10 percent of customers were still having difficulties enrolling through the website as of mid-December.
In an effort to help accommodate those consumers who have waited to apply or whose plans were canceled, the Obama administration quietly pushed the deadline back to 11:59, Dec. 24 – a full 24 hours after the already pushed back deadline – so shoppers may have more time, The Washington Post reported.
Changes made to the website’s software by IT officials automatically amended the enrollment date for customers to curb confusion. The official date for premium payments remains Dec. 31, however many insurers have voluntarily opted to allow customers to pay after Jan. 1, 2014, although they will not receive coverage until the payment is received.