Monday is the last day Americans without health insurance can sign up for coverage in order to avoid fines imposed by President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Well, mostly.
The law — generally referred to as Obamacare — requires individuals not covered by insurance from employers or spouses to obtain coverage that starts by Jan. 1. However, due the technical glitches that prevent many people from enrolling in insurance coverage through the federal health exchange website, some people will be granted a “hardship” exemption. Those who try to enroll by the Obamacare signup deadline, but can’t due to the website issues, would avoid the penalty an unnamed senior Obama administration official told Reuters.
In some states with state-run exchanges, the Obamacare signup deadline has already been delayed beyond Dec. 23. Individuals whose prior insurance plans were cancelled because of Obamacare have additional exemption times.
Originally, the Obamacare signup deadline to obtain coverage was Dec. 15. The administration was forced to push the Obamacare signup deadline back after HealthCare.gov proved spectacularly unreliable and only a very few people could even log on to the website.
On Friday, prior to flying off to vacation in Hawaii, President Obama said the website was improving and that 1 million people had enrolled for insurance through the website.
Individuals that do not obtain health insurance will face a tax penalty of at least $95 in 2014.
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