White House officials confirmed Monday that the deadline for enrolling in Obamacare has been pushed back a day from today to tomorrow, Dec. 24 — for coverage to begin Jan. 1.
Because of a last-minute, stopgap option announced Thursday, Americans whose plans were canceled will be able to buy a cheap, bare-bones “catastrophic plan” regardless of their age. Such plans had been intended for those under 30.
The deadline varies somewhat by state and by insurer. Nonetheless, the rate of first-month premium payment is slow going.
The online marketplace for small-business owners, called the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, will be available for companies with 50 or fewer full-time workers. It had already been delayed from a scheduled Oct. 1, 2013 start.
White House officials say the Obamacare online marketplace — healthcare.gov — should run smoothly from now on, essentially meeting this weekend’s deadline imposed by the president to fix the hardware and software bugs that have infected the most visible component of healthcare reform.
Instead of a fully functioning SHOP exchange, employers will have a process for enrolling in coverage by the end of the month — but it may not necessarily be possible through HealthCare.gov.
By now, most everyone has gotten the word that Obamacare won’t work to reduce the cost of individual health insurance plans unless enough young people sign up. AARP.org has a strategy to make that happen.
The 14 state-based Obamacare marketplaces have reported data that shows enrollment has nearly doubled from last month, jumping to about 150,000 from 79,000, according to state and federal statistics.
California officials Thursday released enrollment numbers which illustrate the biggest hurdle for President Obama’s healthcare reform: getting younger people to sign on, which would ensure cheaper premiums for those older Americans who are in greater need of affordable medical coverage.
President Obama is allowing insurance companies to let millions of Americans whose health plans are facing cancellations to extend individual policies into 2014, but insurers must follow certain guidelines.