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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Donald Trump's "transition team will meet next week with representatives of the tech industry, multiple sources confirmed, even as their candidate largely has been largely shunned by Silicon Valley. The meeting, scheduled for next Thursday at the offices of law and lobbying firm BakerHostetler, will include trade groups like the Information Technology Industry Council and the Internet Association that represent major Silicon Valley companies."
Today in bad news for Donald Trump:
- Newsweek found that a company he controlled did business with Cuba under Fidel Castro "despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings." In 1998, he spent at least $68,000 there, which was funneled through a consluting company "to make it appear legal."
- The Los Angeles Times reports that at a golf club he owns in California, Trump ordered that unattractive female staff be fired and replaced with prettier women.
In some of the first state-by-state surveys since Monday night's debate, Hillary Clinton has the edge in five battlegrounds, according to polls by Public Policy Polling. In four-way matchups, Clinton leads Donald Trump 46%-40% in Colorado, 45%-43% in Florida, 44%-42% in North Carolina, 45%-39% in Pennsylvania, and 46%-40% in Virginia. Gary Johnson doesn't top 7% in any state. Voters in all five states thought that Clinton decisively won the debate.