With the deadline to enroll in Obamacare quickly approaching and enrollment numbers falling short of their expectations, the Obama Administration is granting Americans yet another delay to sign up for health insurance.
Just days after Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, staunchly denied that the administration is issuing such a delay, the administration announced that Americans currently enrolling in Obamacare will be given more time to complete the enrollment process.
At a hearing on March 12, Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Tex.) asked Kathleen Sebelius "Are you going to delay the mandate that individuals have to buy health care or pay a tax?"
Sebelius replied, "No sir."
Brady asked her again, "Are you going to delay the open enrollment beyond March 31?" She gave the same response, "No sir."
The new delay will give Americans a short window of time to finish the enrollment process and to avoid the penalty imposed for not enrolling signing up for health insurance.
A history of Obamacare delays is available below via Politico:
March 25: Final enrollment deadline extended. The March 31 deadline — the end of enrollment for 2014 — will be loosened for people with special sign-up circumstances.
March 14: High risk pools extended. The special, temporary coverage for people with serious pre-existing conditions — which was only supposed to last until the health insurance exchanges were in place — was extended a third time for another month.
Feb. 10: Employer mandate delayed. This time, businesses with between 50 and 100 workers were given until 2016 to offer coverage, and the mandate will be phased in for employers with more than 100 workers.
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Jan. 14: High risk pools extended. The high-risk insurance pools, which originally had been slated to close Jan. 1, had already been extended once.
Dec. 24: Enrollment deadline extended. In a message on HealthCare.gov, customers were told they could get help finishing their Jan. 1 applications if they were already in line on Dec. 24.
Dec 12: Enrollment deadline extended. Customers on the federal enrollment website were given nearly two more weeks to sign up for coverage effective Jan. 1.
Nov. 27: SHOP delayed. Online enrollment for the federal health insurance exchanges for small businesses was delayed.
Nov. 21: Open enrollment delayed for 2015. The administration pushed back next year’s enrollment season by a month.
July 2: Employer mandate delayed. The administration declared that it wouldn’t enforce the fines in 2014 for businesses with more than 50 full-time workers who don’t offer health coverage. The fines were pushed back to 2015.
Nov. 15, 2012: Exchange deadline delayed. The Department of Health and Human Services gave states an extra month to decide whether they would set up their own health insurance exchanges — a decision they announced just one day before the original deadline.