Obamacare Deadline Is Now April 15

Administration officials announced that everyone who is in line to get health insurance must complete the process over the next 12 days.

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 15: As people stand in line to speak with an insurance agent Dailem Delombard sits with an agent from Sunshine Life and Health Advisors as she tries to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the kiosk setup at the Mall of Americas on January 15, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Today is deadline day for those that want insurance to start on February the 1st. According to the owner of Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, Odalys Arevalo, their business selling insurance under the Affordable Care Act has exploded so much so that by the end of the week they will be moving to a 24,000 square foot space at the mall because they have outgrown the kiosk. They have over 25 agents and are seeing hundreds of people daily, last Saturday they saw about 1,000 people with wait times of over 5 hours. 
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Clara Ritger
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Clara Ritger
April 3, 2014, 8:52 a.m.

April 15 is the new dead­line to fin­ish Obama­care health in­sur­ance ap­plic­a­tions, ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials an­nounced Thursday.

“For those in line on the 31st, we en­cour­age con­sumers to fin­ish the pro­cess as soon as pos­sible,” Alicia Hartinger, spokes­wo­man at the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Medi­caid Ser­vices, said in an email. “They must com­plete their en­roll­ment by no later than the 15th for cov­er­age this year.”

The ex­ten­ded sign-up time frame has made in­sur­ance com­pan­ies nervous, as they fear a loose dead­line will al­low more cus­tom­ers to wait un­til their health ex­penses are high­er.

But the ad­min­is­tra­tion gran­ted some con­sumers more time to sign up for cov­er­age due to high traffic on Health­Care.gov dur­ing the days lead­ing up to the broad­er March 31 dead­line. Some were put in a queue or asked to come back later when there were few­er people try­ing to get their ap­plic­a­tions through the sys­tem. The fed­er­al on­line ex­change fielded more than 3 mil­lion vis­its on March 31.

Some people will qual­i­fy for ex­tra time to en­roll bey­ond the April 15 cut-off. Ac­cord­ing to guid­ance pos­ted on Health­Care.gov, people who con­tin­ue to have trouble with their ap­plic­a­tions qual­i­fy for a “spe­cial en­roll­ment peri­od” that could al­low them up to 60 days to sign up after the event.

And qual­i­fy­ing life events — such as los­ing a job, get­ting mar­ried, or hav­ing a baby — al­low Amer­ic­ans to sign up for health in­sur­ance out­side of the open en­roll­ment peri­od. Low-in­come and dis­abled per­sons who qual­i­fy for Medi­caid can also en­roll at any time.

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