Residents of the state now have a little bit more time to be able to shop for their coverage.
New Yorkers can now breath a little bit easier because they have just received an extension of five days for the deadline by which they must either purchase or renew their health insurance coverage through the state’s exchange.
The deadline for enrollment through the online marketplace is now December 20 for coverage starting with 2015.
This additional five days could make all the difference for many people who find this time of year to be exceptionally busy and who could stand for some added time in which to compare the available health insurance plans and choose the one that is right for them and their families. That said, it wasn’t the busy time of year that was behind the decision to extend the deadline for purchasing a health plan from December 15 to December 20.
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Officials in New York decided that additional time could be needed after the state was crippled by extreme weather.
Parts of western New York were brought to a grinding halt in November as a result of some extremely dramatic winter weather. This stopped residents in those areas from being able to obtain assistance with enrollment in-person during that time and during some of the time that followed, when several feet of snow were dumped onto the region over a short number of days. As this reduced their opportunity to inform themselves about the right health plan for their needs, the extension has now been put into place to buy them more time.
The NY State of Health exchange was launched last year in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act. The state has revealed that since November 15, when the open enrollment period first began, there have been over 150,000 people who had enrolled in coverage last year who have already signed up for a new policy. This data was released by the Health Department in the state. That figure does not include all of the New Yorkers who have renewed their health insurance coverage from what they had purchased last year.