The Obama administration is extending the deadline to sign up for health insurance past March 31 for some individuals who have trouble completing enrollment before the deadline.
An administration official said “individuals with special circumstances and complex cases” who have already started enrollment will have until mid-April to apply for an extension under the new plan. In a statement, Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said the extension was due to a surge in demand, as the administration mounts a furious push to get as many people as possible to sign up for health insurance before the deadline.
“Open enrollment ends March 31. We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment — either online or over the phone,” Peters said.
According to The Washington Post, the new deadline will rely on an “honour system” — HHS will not determine whether a person is telling the truth when he or she says she started enrollment before the March 31 deadline.
“Another day, another Obamacare delay from the same Obama administration that won’t work with Republicans to help Americans suffering from the unintended consequences of the Democrats’ failed healthcare law,” RNC Chair Reince Priebus said in a statement.
Administration officials offered a comparison in the extension to allowing voters already in line when the polls close to go to the polls:
Many administration officials had been firm on the March 31 deadline. They stressed that this move was not another delay or a change in plans — simply an accommodation for people in line. The administration made a similar move in December, when a surge of people signed up for coverage starting Jan. 1.
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