Delay will give Americans more time to purchase insurance
Americans will have an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before incurring the ACA individual mandate penalty.
The Obama administration has decided to extend the deadline for purchasing health insurance to March 31 amid confusion around the timing between purchasing health insurance coverage and actually being insured. On Wednesday October 23, the Obama administration made it clear that those who sign up for coverage at any point during the open enrollment period will not pay the penalty. This means that while people must be enrolled in coverage by March 31, those individuals who wait until the end of open enrollment (after February 15) will not actually be covered on March 31 as there is a lag before the plans actually take effect.
According to an official from the Department of Health and Human Services, “There is a disconnect between the open enrollment and individual responsibility time frames in the first year only. The administration is working to align those policies and will issue guidance soon. This guidance will ensure that if you sign up for insurance by the end of March, you will not face a penalty.”
Individuals required to maintain health insurance will face a penalty of $95 or one percent of income, whichever is greater, if they have not purchased health insurance by the March 31 deadline.
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Jillian Carlile Research Analyst & Health Exchange know-it-all Strenuus firstname.lastname@example.org
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