With the March 31 deadline to enroll in Obamacare’s federal insurance marketplace quickly approaching, the Obama administration announced Tuesday night it would give Americans extra time to finish their applications.
The Washington Post is reporting that applicants will have until mid-April under the administration’s new rules. It marks the latest in a series of delays and changes the Obama administration has made to the law since its adoption four years ago.
“Under the new rules,” the Post reports, “people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.”
The Obama administration’s announcement, which will be made official on Wednesday, applies to federal insurance exchanges in 36 states.
White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked about extending the deadline last week and insisted the administration was sticking with March 31 as long as “people who are already in line can finish their enrollment.”
“March 31 is the deadline for enrollment,” Carney said repeatedly. “You’ve heard us make that clear.”
The latest change didn’t surprise Heritage health policy expert Alyene Senger, who has closely tracked the administration’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“This is yet another example of the administration creating new rules and special circumstances to ‘fix’ the Obamacare issue du jour,” Senger told The Foundry. “Plugging the many holes isn’t going to save the sinking ship. Instead, it’s time to recognize that Obamacare is a fundamentally flawed law.”
>>> Read More: A Patient-Centered, Market-Based Health Care Alternative