The Obama Administration on Thursday announced a new series of measures and suggestions to insurers as it sought to make sure that as many people as possible are covered by health insurance on Jan. 1 despite the botched rollout of Obamacare.
Administrations officials also warned they may again extend the Dec. 23 deadline for enrolling in Obamacare insurance plans for the start of the new year should “exceptional circumstances pose barriers to customers enrolling by that date” via HealthCare.gov and other government-run health exchanges, which have seen drastically fewer numbers of people sign up for those plans than originally projected.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also urged insurers to begin covering enrollees by that date on Jan. 1, even if those people make their first premiums payment later in January. Aetna has already said it will allow enrollees in Obamacare plans until Jan. 8 to make their first premium payments for plans beginning Jan. 1.
Sebelius also announced that HHS is now requiring that insurers accept as late as Dec. 31 payments for selected Obamacare plans that will begin Jan. 1, instead of leaving the payment deadline up to the insurers.