Consumers who shop for their coverage using the federal exchange will now have another week.
Americans who are shopping around for health insurance through the use of the federal exchange website will now be provided with an extension on the previous deadline, as new healthcare reforms have granted them until December 23 in order to sign up on the site and obtain the benefits required to comply with the individual mandate starting on January 1, 2014.
This, according to an announcement recently made by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Julie Bataille, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has stated that these latest healthcare reforms were made following consultations with the insurers who are on the exchange. Those companies have told the government that they will be capable of enrolling the customers who register as late as the last day on the new deadline, by the start of the new year.
Under the latest healthcare reforms, those consumers will still have had to pay their first month of premiums by December 31.
This, in order to make certain that their coverage will be active the next day so that the consumers will have their health insurance in place by the time the next wave of healthcare reforms goes into effect on January 1. The extension will apply only to the first month of enrollments. Following that time, consumers will need to have made their enrollments by the 15th of the month to make sure that their coverage will be effective at the start of the following month.
Equally, the previous healthcare reforms regarding the end of the open enrollment period for next year remain the same. That is, March 31 remains the end of the open enrollment period for 2014. Following that date, anyone who has failed to seek coverage and obtain it could risk experiencing penalties from the Internal Revenue Service.
Bataille did not mention whether these healthcare reforms would apply to all insurers or whether it was applicable only to those on the federal health insurance exchange website. The HHS announcement prefaced a daily media briefing on the progress being made to the federal site.