After thousands of health insurance plans disappeared due to back-end technical problems associated with the Healthcare.gov portal and state-run sites, many insurers are now extending the Dec. 31 premium payment deadline to Jan. 10, according to The Washington Post.
As those whose plans were canceled and others who have yet to enroll flood online exchange markets, many insurers with plans in the marketplace have voluntarily opted to extend deadlines. The Affordable Care Act initially set a Dec. 23 deadline to enroll for Jan. 1 coverage, with premium payments due to insurers by Dec. 31. However, to encourage people to continue enrolling and applying for coverage, some companies are now saying they will accept later payments without penalizing people.
“Our community is taking an important step to give consumers greater peace of mind about their health care coverage,” Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of American’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), said in a statement, according to Time.
It is important to note that although deadlines have been extended, coverage still will not be applied until policy-holders pay insurers their due premiums. In addition, the extension may not apply to state-run exchange plans, although it will for those who purchased plans through Healthcare.gov, Time reported.