Americans Get Extra Week To Sign Up For Obamacare As Website Improves

by
Reuters
Americans hoping to sign up for health insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law will have an additional eight days to do so for coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2014, officials said on Friday.

Americans Get Extra Week To Sign Up For Obamacare As Website Improves

Americans hoping to sign up for health insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law will have an additional eight days to do so for coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2014, officials said on Friday.

The decision to move the deadline to Dec. 23 from Dec. 15 is an acknowledgement that the online portal for enrollment, HealthCare.gov, has been plagued with problems since it opened on Oct. 1.

Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said they had no plans to extend the ultimate deadline of March 31, 2014, the date when people without insurance must enroll in a plan or face a tax penalty.

That decision reflects, in part, optimism that the website will continue to improve: the site will soon be able to handle 50,000 simultaneous users, said Jeffrey Zients, the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov adviser, and 800,000 people per day, largely because of the more than 300 software and other fixes that technology teams have made to the site over the last seven weeks.