Though there have been reports individuals may be able to avoid the $95 penalty if they fail to obtain health insurance benefits by March 31, the White House says the deadline will not be pushed back.
Dan Pfeiffer, a top White House advisor, told David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that the end of March is, in fact, the deadline for the open enrollment period, noting that those who haven’t yet secured a plan should do so as soon as possible.
“That will not happen,” Pfeiffer said, when asked if the individual mandate would be delayed.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services posted a bulletin, stating people may be able to avoid the penalty for not having coverage if they qualified for a “financial hardship.” However, further inquiry into the statement revealed that people wouldn’t have to go to great lengths to prove they do not have the means to purchase coverage.
On March 12, Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary, testified on Capitol Hill before the House Ways and Means Committee that the open enrollment would not be extended, according to numerous media reports.