Today is the final official day to enroll in the insurance required by the individual mandate of the health care reform, but some Americans have been granted a little bit of extra time when they have previously been blocked by technical problems on the federal exchange website.
A number of states that have their own exchanges have allowed for the same type of extension.
Among the states that have taken it upon themselves to provide health care reform deadline extensions are Maryland, Minnesota, and Nevada. That said, today’s deadline remains firm for the rest of Americans, and the White House has insisted that it will not extend it any further than it already has. This means that for the majority of uninsured people, today is the last day to obtain their health insurance plan for 2014 without facing a tax penalty.
This latest health care reform extension grants a special enrollment period to people with proof that they previously tried.
For those who are able to show that the federal exchange or the Department of Health and Human Services blocked them from being able to enroll due to a technical error, a special enrollment window will be permitted beyond the deadline today. The special enrollment period will not be simply granted broadly. Instead, it will mimic the extensions that some Americans were given at the end of last year when they were able to prove that they could not meet the deadline on December 23, 2013 for coverage starting on January 1, 2014.
According to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesperson, Aaron Albright, speaking on behalf of that firm that operates the federal health insurance exchange, the special enrollment period will likely be especially beneficial to those who have complex cases and who are facing special circumstances.
Albright also pointed out that over the last few days there has been a massive surge in activity on the health care reform insurance exchange website and that they are doing everything that they can to “be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment, either online or over the phone.”
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