Healthcare deadline passes, extended for those who tried to apply

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - President Obama said 7.1 million people enrolled for health coverage before Monday night's deadline, but some are still waiting to find out when and if they'll be covered.

That deadline was extended to April 15 but it doesn't apply to everyone.

“The share of Americans with insurance is up and growth of health care costs is down. That's good for our middle class and that's good for our fiscal future,” Obama said.

The last days to enroll for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, were in some ways like the first several, busy and hectic.

“(The site) had a fairly narrow window of functionality. It didn't work for the first two months, and it's not working here at the end, right now, that's not healthcare.gov's problem, the problem is people waiting. So it's a combination of demand at the last minute and the site's functionality,” Chippewa Falls insurance agent Karen Hebert said.

She said she helped people sign up for care and said many are still waiting for confirmations. Those challenges pushed the deadline to April 15, for those who say they tried and had problems, Hebert said.

“We put a number of people on hold and just made appointments for the next couple of weeks, expecting that deadline to work for them.” “The way I understand it's set up, it's just going to be honor system. Even people that technically didn't deserve the extension, if they say they tried, they'll get the extension.”

“We're not going to make that determination for them what's going to happen. I think (what will happen) is gray, which is exactly why we're saying follow back up with the marketplace and document any and all attempts,” Eau Claire County Department of Human Services Economic Supervisor Linda Struck said.”

There are extenuating circumstances allowing people to still enroll including life changes such as a marriage, divorce, loss of coverage or birth. The penalty for not having healthcare is at least $95. That will be charged when filing taxes next year.

The next open enrollment period is scheduled to start Nov. 15.


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