ObamaCare Deadline Extended After More Glitches

Dems seek 2nd chance for millions facing penalties
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2015 11:46 PM CST
Updated Feb 17, 2015 12:11 AM CST
ObamaCare Deadline Extended After More Glitches
The HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is seen on a laptop screen in Portland, Ore.    (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

The ObamaCare enrollment period has officially ended for another year—but few will be flabbergasted to learn that yet more computer glitches have complicated the process. Federal officials say there will now be a "special enrollment" period ending Sunday for people who couldn't register because of technical problems or long wait times at call centers, reports Politico, which notes that most state exchanges have also extended enrollment periods—for two months in the case of Washington. Officials say the "vast majority of consumers" picked a plan without problem, and though they expect people to be truthful, they admit it will be hard to verify whether somebody really had a call center problem, USA Today reports.

With higher penalties this year and next year for uninsured people above the poverty line, three senior Democrats in the House are seeking a longer extension period for the estimated 4 million people who will face penalties, the AP reports. The lawmakers—who helped steer ObamaCare through Congress—say they worry that since the enrollment period ended before tax returns were filed, many people will only find out about the penalties for both 2014 and 2015 when it's too late. "For the many families who may now be about to pay a penalty, there should be an opportunity to avoid both further penalties and to obtain affordable health insurance," says Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas. (More ObamaCare stories.)

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