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42 States Extend Deadline to Sign Up For Obamacare

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

On Thursday night, federal regulators announced that they were extending the midnight deadline to sign up for health insurance starting January 1, 2017 through the Affordable Care Act on Healthcare.gov.

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The deadline has been extended four days to December 19.

39 states use Healthcare.gov as their health insurance marketplace. (The states that do not use Healthcare.gov are California, Connecticut, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state, and Washington D.C.) Officials attributed the deadline extension to the “extraordinary volume of consumers” trying to sign up for health insurance.

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Healthcare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan said that many consumers were asked to wait before signing up for health insurance both online and over the phone. “Nearly a million consumers have left their contact information to hold their place in line,” he said in a statement late Thursday night. “Our goal is to provide affordable coverage to everyone seeking it before the deadline, and these two additional business days will give consumers an opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for January 1 coverage.”

Connecticut and New York also extended their healthcare sign-up deadlines today, and California did so yesterday.

The updated deadlines for health insurance sign-up, by state:

  • Colorado, District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Vermont: Thursday December 15
  • Healthcare.gov states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming): Monday December 19
  • California, Connecticut, New York: Saturday December 17
  • Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington State: Friday December 23

If you miss the enrollment deadline in your state, don’t fear. You can still sign up for coverage starting February 1, 2017. More information on signing up, click here.

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[Sources: USA Today, Washington Post, Healthcare.gov]

Eve Peyser was the night editor at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

I tried to sign up for heath insurance via the marketplace these last weeks and it is fundamentally broken. One of the deciding factors on how much you have to pay is how much you make a month.

Problem is, it only asks for your hourly wage. There is no option for annual salary, total monthly income or any other form of non-hourly income. I work on an hourly income supplemented by commission. I have no way of gauging how much I make an hour until AFTER I get paid. Some months it’s as little as $1200 and other months it’s been upwards of $3600.

Any intelligent person is going to pick the month they got paid the least, netting them the cheapest health insurance. By my hourly rate alone I qualify for free state-provided health insurance. But If I apply for that I get denied because I make “too much money.”

In addition to the website being broken, the healthcare system in this rapidly declining country is broken in every way.