After a slow start to the enrollment of Obamacare, the Obama administration is set to delay enrollment for 2015 by one month from October 15 to November 15. This means that while the 2015 enrollment period had been set to begin Oct. 15, 2014 and end Dec. 7, it will now begin Nov. 15, 2014, and end Jan. 15, 2015.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said pushing back the start date will give insurers more time to get an idea of their new pool of customers before they set their 2015 premiums accordingly. "What was already going to be a back-loaded process is going to be more back-loaded, and that's going to leave insurers a lot of data to sort through in a short period of time," Carney said in a statement.
This latest Obamacare adjustment will definitely add more political controversy over the embattled new healthcare law. Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican has already described the move as "a cynical political move” and added that any changes to healthcare plans such as premium increase should be made public before the 2014 election.
Carney has also denied that next year’s elections are the reason for the postponement but House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has a different view. Cantor said that the move is meant to hide some weaknesses in the health care act before the election. "Clearly, President Obama does not want voters to see increased prices, more cancellations and decreased options under Obamacare before they go to the ballot box" Cantor said in a statement "If Obamacare is so great, why are Democrats so scared of voters knowing its consequences?"
But there are others who have welcomed the move saying the postponement will give consumers more time to learn about plans before enrolling. Carney has said that the administration expects more people to sign up for the health care insurance at the end of the current open enrollment period ending 31st march 2014.
However, this means that the Americans will have to wait until after election before hearing about any potential premium increase rather than in the weeks before.
(main photo via whitehouse.org)