White House Pushes Next Year’s Health Plan Sign-Ups Later

Another day brings another delay for the federal health law known as the Affordable Care Act.

On Friday, the Obama administration announced that, starting next year, it is pushing back the start of the sign-up period for those buying individual and small business insurance until mid-November, rather than mid-October. That will give insurance companies some extra time to set their premiums, given this year’s difficulties.

Peter Lee, the executive director California's health insurance marketplace, says he's pleased by the number of young people already signing up.

And, as some analysts point out, the delay may also ease some political concerns for Democrats.

Henry Chao, the project manager of HealthCare.gov, is sworn in to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

The open enrollment period in 2014 will begin on Nov. 15 and last until January, White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a press briefing.

This gives [insurance companies] more time to assess the pool of people who are getting insurance through the marketplaces and then make decisions about what rates will look like in the coming year,” Carney told reporters.

The delay also gives the administration a bit of breathing space in case, as expected, it needs to extend the current enrollment period past the March 31 deadline, if ongoing problems with the website aren’t fixed. Right now, the

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/22/246779639/white-house-pushes-next-years-health-plan-sign-ups-later?ft=1&f=131849999

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