In the words of 18th century British education writer William Edward Hickson: “If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try, try again.”
The Obama administration is taking those words to heart, allowing individuals who might have had issues applying for coverage on HealthCare.gov more time to get covered.
Only those who say they had issues enrolling before the March 31 deadline will be given a special reprieve to obtain health insurance after Monday’s deadline.
The Washington Post says that individuals who qualify for this scenario will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.
Another Delay? Really?
Yes, but this soft delay actually makes a lot of sense. People that have waited until today could realistically have issues obtaining coverage through HealthCare.gov, a site that doesn’t exactly have the best reputation for stability and uptime.
As a matter of fact, I was getting this “please wait” page from the marketplace just this morning.
Healthcare.gov’s Twitter account says that the site has received record volume today, herding in over 1.2 million visits through Noon. Traffic to the site is only expected to worsen as people get home from work and realize that today is the big deadline.
— HealthCare.gov (@HealthCareGov) March 31, 2014
How To Get The Extension
To obtain the extension, individuals must check a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the March 31 deadline.
Since the deadline hasn’t officially passed yet, we’re not able to see what the actual box looks like. You can rest assured that we’ll add a walkthrough video to this post as soon as it becomes available.
The Washington Post also reports that this extension will work off of the honor system; meaning that individuals will not be required to offer proof that they couldn’t finish enrollment on HealthCare.gov.
UPDATE 4/1/14: HealthCare.gov has officially closed their doors to the general public, however the special enrollment period outlined above is now in place until April 15, 2014. If for any reason you were not able to apply for coverage before March 31, now would be the time to apply.
The following video should help you navigate HealthCare.gov if need to take advantage of this special enrollment period.
Mark Bailey, Jr. is the Senior Marketing Manager of NFP's Atlantic region. Before joining the company, Mark was a production assistant on the tv show Glee and an on-air talent on 95.1 WAPE. He has over 10 years of experience in the insurance and corporate benefits space. Mark is an avid Jacksonville Jaguars fan and loves to spend his free time building custom mechanical keyboards.