The deadline to register for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace on HealthCare.gov has been extended until 3 a.m. on Wednesday, December 18, after numerous reports of technical issues preventing people to register.
The market closed on Sunday. But on Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said they would reopen the market at 3 p.m. “very cautiously, to welcome consumers who attempted to sign up for coverage during the last hours of the week. registration open but who may have problems encountered.
During the rush to sign up, many consumers were asked to leave their contact details at the call center. These people will be contacted by the call center and do not need to return to the website to complete their registration, CMS said.
CMS declined to elaborate on the types of issues that occurred with the website. But on Sunday, consumer advocates called on CMS to extend the deadline for people who encountered issues preventing them from signing up on the last day of registration.
Joshua Peck, co-founder of Get America Covered, applauded the deadline extension and urged CMS to make sure those who couldn’t complete registration know they now have more time.
“No one should miss the opportunity to sign up for 2020 coverage because of the technical issues yesterday. CMS must also be committed to being transparent about what happened yesterday and the first day of open registration, what they did to address it, the impact it had on registration and what that they will do to make sure that doesn’t happen again in the future, ”said Peck, whose group helps people sign up for coverage.
As of Monday afternoon, the home page for HealthCare.gov still featured in large print “2020 open registration is closed.”
A notice regarding the extension of time appeared in much smaller type in a narrow blue box near the top of the page.
The plans sold through HealthCare.gov all meet ACA’s requirements for comprehensive health coverage, meaning they cover pre-existing conditions and “core benefits,” such as primary care, mental health, and health benefits. prescription drugs, and limit the total amount that members can be required to spend. in a year.
The plans are categorized by level of metal – bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
Bronze plans offer the lowest monthly premiums but higher deductibles (the amount you pay out of pocket before the plan no longer covers), co-payments (a fee you pay to see a doctor), and a coinsurance (part of the bill for which you may be responsible even after your deductible is reached).
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The Gold and Platinum plans have the least reimbursable expenses and the highest premiums. Money plans are the most popular option.
Medicare is expensive, but many people can take advantage of an income-based tax credit to help offset the cost of their premium.