Updated: ObamaCare Deadline Extended
By Patrick Lynn
The Monday deadline for Wisconsin residents to sign up for ObamaCare has been extended to Tuesday, Dec. 24.
The extension was granted because of potential problems with the federal health care exchange’s website, which the Congressional Budget Office said is expecting to be slammed with insurance shoppers at the last minute. Applicants still need to log in to the website healthcare.gov on Monday to begin the application process in order to be eligible for the Tuesday extension.
After initially signing up 877 residents in October, just over 4,400 Badger State residents enrolled through the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace in November. Today’s deadline to choose a plan means coverage begins Jan. 1, with a Jan. 10 deadline for premium payment.
The open- enrollment period ends March 31, 2014, after which fines can be issued to some residents who haven’t signed up for coverage, and will not reopen until Oct. 15.
Some residents will be exempt from the health insurance mandate, according to the Congressional Budget Office, to include illegal aliens, most Native American Indian tribes and some with strict religious beliefs, as well as low- income residents who meet certain restrictions.
Some 92,000 low-income Wisconsin individuals without children earning between 100 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level received letters in recent months from the state informing them that they will no longer be eligible for BadgerCare Plus on Jan. 1.
BadgerCare recipients with children have been given an extra three months under new legislation from Governor Scott Walker’s office before losing their coverage, something Walker’s office said would give those residents enough time to sign up for the Affordable Care Act coverage. Federal subsidies are available to low- income applicants who meet certain guidelines.
Americans will be required to have some kind of health insurance in 2014 or face a fine.