As expected there has been a minor extension to the deadline for the 2014 open enrollment period on the Exchange. People who have accounts set-up on Healthcare.gov by March 31st but have not selected a plan will get a few extra weeks if they ask for it. Plans selected in those extra weeks will be effective for coverage on May 1st.
Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension…
Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline.
Administration officials said the accommodation is an attempt to prepare for a possible surge of people trying to sign up in the final days before the deadline. Such a flood could leave some people unable to get through the system.
We’ve seen a few minor extensions in the past. The most notable one was the change from a Dec. 15th deadline for Jan. 1 coverage to a Dec. 23rd deadline that then got pushed back to Dec. 24. This is a simpler and more straightforward extension as coverage won’t be starting in a week or be retroactive coverage. It will be coverage starting in two or three weeks after the extension deadline, so the insurance companies should be able to accomodate the late leakers fairly easily.