The deadline to enroll in health plans that begin Jan. 1 was extended to midnight today from yesterday for most of the U.S., the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said. The extension was announced as healthcare.gov yesterday experienced a single-day record number of visits and consumers were moved into a queuing system deployed when the website approaches 50,000 simultaneous users.
“Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan 1,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille said in a statement released Monday.
An administration official added, “We have programmed our systems to support January 1 coverage for those who attempt to complete their enrollment through the end of the day tomorrow proactively recognizing that we need to be prepared to handle heavy online traffic or other technical issues.”
More than a million people have signed up for private insurance in the federal and state exchanges, President Obama said Friday. And exchanges are reporting heavy interest in recent days.
Regardless of where you live, you should call your insurer of choice to check its deadlines and, after you pay, check your enrollment status.
If you miss the new deadline, the earliest you’d be able to get coverage is Feb. 1. Open enrollment ends March 31. The uninsured must pick a plan by then to avoid a penalty.