Due to unprecedented demand, HealthCare.gov announced last night that it would be extending the first deadline to Thursday, December 17 at 11:59pm PST for people looking to enroll in coverage effective January 1. The days leading up to the December 15 deadline saw a surge in consumer demand.
HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan released the following statement:
“Because of the unprecedented demand and volume of consumers contacting our call center or visiting HealthCare.gov, we are extending the deadline to sign-up for January 1 coverage until 11:59pm PST December 17. Hundreds of thousands have already selected plans over the last two days and approximately 1 million consumers have left their contact information to hold their place in line. Our goal is to provide access to affordable coverage, and the additional 48 hours will give consumers an opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for January 1 coverage. ”
Making sure people are aware of this extended deadline is a top priority. Today and tomorrow, officials from HealthCare.gov are available for live and taped satellite TV and radio interviews to discuss important information consumers need to know about how to sign up and where to find help. If you would like to set up time to speak with one of our senior officials about Open Enrollment, email the CMS Newsroom or call 202-690-6145.
What Consumers Need to Know about this Enrollment Extension:
You’ve got an extra 48 hours to sign up for coverage starting Jan. 1. The December 15 deadline was extended 2 days. If you enroll in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov or the Marketplace Call Center by 11:59 p.m. December 17th Pacific Standard Time, your coverage will start January 1, 2016.
If you tried to enroll yesterday but didn’t finish the process, you’ve still got time. Because of the surge in consumer demand, some consumers needed to wait at the call center or before logging-in to HealthCare.gov. Consumers should not worry. HealthCare.gov is providing additional time for you to come back, shop and sign up for the plan that best fits your needs.
The extension is automatic. You do not need to do anything special or enter information to qualify for the extension. If you want your coverage to begin on January 1, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2696 to finish enrolling by December 17th.
Free help is available. If you have questions about the deadline or want to talk through your options with a trained professional, representatives at the Marketplace Call Center are standing by and are ready to help 24 hours a day. Call 1-800-318-2596. The call is free. To find in-person help in your community, visit localhelp.healthcare.gov.
Coverage could be more affordable than you think. About 8 out of 10 people who enroll in health coverage through HealthCare.gov qualify for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable. Most people can find plans with premiums for less than $75 a month after tax credits.