Friday, the Obama Administration announced an important change in the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period.
Previously, the 2015 enrollment period was scheduled to begin Oct. 15, 2014 and end Dec. 7, however, now it will now begin Nov. 15, 2014, and end Jan. 15, 2015. One month later.
The Washington Post has to say, "The new change will, notably, push the open enrollment period until after the 2014 election, which will be held Nov. 4 -- a circumstance that has Republicans crying foul"
Is there a political agenda here? November 15th is right after the 2014 elections, 11 days after.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, one extension gives consumers eight extra days, to Dec. 23, to enroll in Obamacare plans that kick in Jan. 1, and gives them until Dec. 31 to actually start paying for those plans."
Consumers fear that changes might occur after the elections, as Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for industry lobbying group American's Health Insurance Plans, said, "It makes it more challenging to process enrollments in time for coverage to begin on January 1."
The reason for the second extension, according to Zirkelbach, "giving health plans more time to submit premium rates for next year will enable them to better assess who is covered in their plans and help ensure those rates more accurately reflect the population covered."
So, the delay might be a good thing after all, and the promise made by the software wizard, Jeff Zients, promises that the site is being worked on around the clock to ensure HealthCare.gov is up and running without a hitch, by the new December 23rd deadline.
And, Zients said, "by the Nov. 30 deadline, the fixes will allow HealthCare.gov to handle at least 800,000 visitors each day, and 50,000 visitors at any one time."
Image, Wiki Commons