2013But the delay has nothing to do with healthcare.gov problems … LOL
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Wednesday night that it will give Americans who buy health insurance through new online marketplaces an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before they risk a penalty.
The announcement means that those who buy coverage through the exchanges will have until March 31 to sign up for a plan, according to an official with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Administration officials said the new deadline is unrelated to the many technical problems that the marketplace’s website, HealthCare.gov, has had in its first three weeks of operation. Instead, they said, the move is designed to clear up confusion about when people would face a penalty under the 2010 health care law.
Under the law, most Americans are required to have insurance by Jan. 1, although the open enrollment period for the federal and state exchanges runs through the end of March. The fines begin after a three-month grace period. The question has been whether people must be covered by March 31 or merely have signed up by then — because health policies typically don’t start right away.
The administration made clear Wednesday night that people who buy coverage during the open enrollment period will not pay a penalty.