Administration Extends Obamacare Enrollment Deadline

Anticipating a crush of Americans trying to sign up for health insurance by a midnight deadline on Monday, the Obama administration is giving consumers an extra 24 hours to select coverage.

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Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

President Barack Obama gives a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House in Washington on December 20, 2013.

Update, 5 p.m. ET: HealthCare.gov has surpassed a million visits to the site on Monday, per an official Twitter account tied to the site.

Anticipating a crush of Americans trying to sign up for health insurance by a midnight deadline on Monday, the Obama administration is giving consumers an extra 24 hours to select coverage.

“Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan 1,” Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The news was first reported by the Washington Post. Citing unnamed sources, the Post reports Monday that IT experts in charge of HealthCare.gov made a software code change to allow the website to accept applications for January coverage up until midnight on Dec. 24. The original deadline to select coverage that begins Jan. 1 was Dec. 15, but the government had already extended that cutoff to Dec. 23.

(MORE: Obamacare support reaches record low in poll)

Federal officials said earlier this month that they would consider extending the Dec. 23 deadline “should exceptional circumstances pose barriers to consumers enrolling on or before December 23.” The Dec. 24 extension, however, was not initially made public and, according to the Post, was “intended as a buffer in case the Web site has trouble if a last-minute surge of insurance-seekers proved more than the computer system could handle.

(MORE: Obama enrolls in new insurance exchange)

Throughout the day on Monday, HealthCare.gov, facilitating enrollment in individual health plans for 36 states, experienced heavy traffic. In a statement, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the site logged some 850,000 visits as of 2 p.m. A queuing system that kicks in during times of peak demand was in place, asking consumers to wait in a virtual line or opt to receive an e-mail reminder to return later. Uninsured Americans who do not sign up for coverage by Dec. 24 risk having to go without a plan until Feb. 1, although federal officials have said “special enrollment period” could be employed to start coverage as soon as possible for those had trouble enrolling on time.

A White House aide confirmed Monday had enrolled for new insurance through the Washington, D.C. exchange, fulfilling a long-stated pledge.

“As you all know, the President is one of the 85 percent of Americans who gets his health insurance through his employer and, like previous Presidents, is privileged to receive health care from the military,” the aide said. “The act of the President signing up for insurance coverage through the DC exchange is symbolic since the President’s health care will continue to be provided by the military. But, he was pleased to participate in a plan as a show of support for these marketplaces which are providing quality, affordable health care options to more than a million people.”

-with reporting from Zeke J Miller

8 comments
haroldlewisblair
haroldlewisblair

Obama did NOT signup for OBAMACARE because he has an invalid SSN--his SSN fails the government E-VERIFY program that it uses to validate SSN's- you see Obama's real SSN probably is tied into crimes of his past when his name was Barry Soetoro-and he now uses a SSN of somebody who died in 1890-(Harrison Bounel) to make out his income-tax with-and as we speak a lawsuit is being litigated in California against Obama's fraudulent SSN that he uses-so did you read one word about this in the papers (or TV)? it's because we have a controlled news-media in America that feeds us only what they want us to know- Stalin & Hitler did the same thing- Bottom line is that Obama is the biggest FRAUD in history who is controlled by the people who spent millions to hide his past history-

JohnWebster
JohnWebster

Hey, extension granted for time zones?


This is easily explained by the fact that time zones are relatively new,

the Time Act of 1918 seems like just yesterday...

JimFitzsr
JimFitzsr

WE HAVE TWO  MAJOR PROBLEMS. THE COST OF HEALTH CARE DELIVERY IS TOO HIGH & THE "POOR" DO NOT EARM A "LIVING WAGE" TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO PAY FOR THEIR HEALTH CARE INSURANCE!!!


THE NEWS MEDIA  AS A WHOLE IS NOT REPORTING ON THE VARIOUS WAYS  OBAMACARE IS REDUCING THE  OVERALL COST OF MEDICAL CARE.


I AETNA, HUMANA AND OTHER MAJOR INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE CREATING ACO'S THAT CONTRACT WITH DOCTORS  AND HOSPITAL GROUPS TO OFFER QUALITY HEALTH CARE AT A LOWER PRICE. THIS IS CRITICIZED AS "YOU CAN NOT KEEP YOUR DOCTOR"  BUT IN REALITY, IS A VERY EFFECTIVE WAY TO REDUCE COST.


2 CVS, WITH OVER 1500 CLINICS, & WALGREEN, WALMART, RITE AID, TARGET, KROGER & OTHERS ARE FOLLOWING THIS PLAN TO OFFER "TRIAGE" CARE FOR MINOR ILLINESS, VACCINATIONS, ETC. ONLY SERIOUS CASES ARE REFERRED TO DRS AND HOSPITALS. A VERY EFFECTIVE AWAY TO REDUCE COST AND EXPAND ADDITIONAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS!


3 THE PUBLIC IS UNAWARE OF THE 'RIDICULOUS' VARIATIONS IN CHARGES FROM HOSPITALS FOR THE SAME PROCEDURE. GO TO CMS.GOV, IT LISTS ALL HOSPITALS AND THEIR CHARGES FOR COMMON PROCEDURES.

EXAMPLE- A HOSPITAL IN CHARLOTTE, NC CHARGES $4135 FOR AN MRI, IN WINSTON SALEM, NC., 50 MILES AWAY, CHARGE IS $1525, FOR WHICH MEDICARE PAYS $325 FOR ALL HOSPITALS.


IF YOU DO NOT HAVE INSURANCE YOU ARE CHARGED FULL PRICE, WITH INSURANCE AND A DEDUCTABLE YOU GET A "BARGAIN" OF HALF PRICE AND MEDICARE PAYS 8%. NO WONDER PEOPLE GO BANKRUPT!!!


MEDIA SHOULD BE ALL OVER THESE PRICE VARIATIONS AND NOW CMS.GOV.POSTS AVERAGE PRICES FOR COMMON PROCEDURES, THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO BE EDUCATED HOW TO ACCESS THE PRICE GOUGING THAT IS GOING ON  EVERY DAY! 


4 ARKANSAS, WISCONSON, IOWA, AND PENNSYLVANIA ARE GETTING WAIVERS TO USE MEDICAID MONIES TO BUY PRIVATE INSURANCE THAT HAS DEDUCTABLES, MAX OUT OF POCKET, AND SHARED COST BY INSURES AND THE ENROLLEE.  A GREAT REPUBLICAN IDEA!!!!


IT NOT COMMON KNOWLEDGE MEDICAID PAYS FOR OVER 60% OF BIRTHS @ $7000 EACH!!! 

UNDER THIS WAIVER INSURERS  AND THE ENROLLEES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR A GREATER SHARE OF THESE COSTS.


5 THE REDUCTION IN READMISSIONS TO HOSPITALS HAVE SOME HOSPITALS WORKING WITH LOCAL CHURCHES TO MONITER THE HEALTH OF THEIR PARISHIONERS, MAKING SURE THEY ARE TAKING THEIR MEDICATIONS, PROVIDING TRANPORTATION TO DRS, ETC.. ANOTHER COST SAVER!


6 NEW DEVICES ARE BEING DEVLOPED FOR YOU TO MONITER YOUR HEALTH STATUS WITH YOUR CELL PHONE.


DO YOU KNOW YOUR BLOOD GLUCOSE, BLOOD PRESSURE, BLOOD OXYGEN, CHOLESTEROL, INR, RIGHT NOW?  FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I LOST 30# BY CHECKING MY BLOOD SUGAR AND ADJUSTING MY DIEAT ACCORDINGLY!


OBAMACARE WILL BE IMPROVED AND THE REPUBLICAN PLAN HAS SOME IDEAS THAT COULD BE ADOPTED , BUT I DOUBT THEY ARE INTERESTED IN IMPROVING OBAMACARE.


READ BUSINESSWEEK ARTICLE BY DOCTOR & SENATOR BILL FRISK "OBAMACARE WILL NOT BE REPEALED & INFACT, IS DELIVERING QUALITY CARE AT A LOWER PRICE"!


outsider
outsider

The poor GOPers, relying on the idea of another crash at midnight for propaganda purposes are going to be upset. 

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@outsider Not as bad as the poor Dims holding their breath for their reelection chances next year. This goes on and on until there is no more room for Obama to maneuver. People are not as stupid as you think. They put one and one together and wonder why all this secrecy and delays if things are going on so well.