Deadline for healthcare enrollment extended

President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama.

By Carmen Glover

The White House announced yesterday that the deadline for people to enroll in healthcare plans and have coverage in place on January 1, 2014 has been extended by one day. As a result, people who are interested in obtaining healthcare coverage by January 1, have until midnight on Christmas Eve to sign up. The extension was deemed necessary because many people who tried to enroll in healthcare plans on Monday, December 23, the original deadline, were unsuccessful because the traffic to the site was so great. With the new extension, people have a little more time to take advantage of the enrollment process in order to have healthcare coverage on January 1, 2014.

The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare,” launched officially on October, 1, 2013, coinciding with the government shutdown in Congress. While millions of people flocked to the website to shop for appropriate coverage packages, many were unable to shop for health care plans because of technological problems which plagued the site at the time of its launch and for the entire month of October.

To get more information about signing up for healthcare coverage, a good place to start is the official government website, The site directs shoppers to the marketplace exchanges, including independent, state-run websites. The most attractive feature of the Affordable Care Act is that “It does not allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions,” President Obama has said repeatedly. One thing is clear: No one who needs healthcare coverage should go without, or incur a fine, without first exploring what is available and how that fits into the family’s budget. So go ahead, take your time and shop around for the coverage that best meets your family’s needs.–

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