Under the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, individuals are now required to have health insurance for 2014. While the final deadline for enrollment is March 31, those who wish to have coverage at the start of the New Year need to sign up by the end of today (Dec. 23).
Access to sign up for health care coverage on the main website, Healthcare.gov began on Oct. 1, in the midst of the government shutdown.
Since the website’s launch, there have been numerous problems.
Individuals seeking to sign up faced major headaches – from receiving “Please wait” or “Please try again later” messages, concerns of security vulnerabilities, to an outage as recent as this past Friday.
With the deadline for coverage by the start of the New Year quickly coming upon us, President Obama has indicated that more than one million Americans have signed up through the online exchange. It appears the numbers are well below the estimated seven million people that were projected to sign up by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Even with all the hurdles that have been faced, officials claim the system is now ready to handle increased traffic on the site. The call centers have also been staffed to handle the rush.
Everyone is urged to sign up for health care coverage for 2014 or face a penalty.
Also, while the deadline to enroll for coverage to begin on Jan. 1 is today, payment of the first premium must also be made for it to take effect. In some instances, the deadline to pay the premium has been extended from Dec. 31 to Jan. 10 for retroactive coverage.