White House begs insurance companies for leniency, may extend Obamacare deadlines

Christopher Bedford Former Editor in Chief, The Daily Caller News Foundation
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White House officials announced on Thursday that they may extend the Dec. 23 sign-up deadline for enrollees to get Obamacare by Jan. 1.

Officials said extensions will be considered if “exceptional circumstances pose barriers to customers enrolling by that date,” CNBC reports.

Exceptional circumstances may include problems that have plagued HealthCare.gov — the federal government’s website for enrolling Americans in plans. The site spent October partially paralyzed, and has limped along since, though officials have warned citizens and congressional staff alike that problems persist.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also asked insurance companies to allow customers leeway in paying their premiums, with some taking her lead. CNBC reports that Aetna has already given customers until Jan. 8 to pay for coverage beginning on Jan. 1. (BEDFORD: Obama’s retreat from Obamacare)

Obamacare has had a troubled launch, as sign-ups lagenrollees fail to pay their premiums and congressional staffers are warned to not expect that their signup worked.

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