Despite statements to the contrary, the White House recently announced it will delay the March 31 open enrollment deadline after all.
Federal officials confirmed on March 25 that for those people who still don’t have health insurance benefits, they’ll be able to buy health plans through the exchanges even after the end of March and not incur a penalty, The Washington Post reported. Now, individuals who don’t have insurance have until mid-April to get covered.
This news comes after representatives of President Barack Obama’s administration said a delay “would not happen,” which White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer told NBC’s “Meet The Press” in February. Additionally, in congressional testimony, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius informed the House Ways and Means Committee that the March 31 deadline would not be pushed back.
The reason for the latest delay are continued problems with HealthCare.gov. The Post reported people are still having trouble enrolling through the site, several months removed from the rollout of the federally facilitated marketplace.
Julie Bataille, director of communications for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the newspaper that exchange workers are ready and willing to help anyone who’s having trouble by talking them through the process.