SHAHEEN INTRODUCES LEGISLATION EXTENDING TIME FOR CONSUMERS TO SIGN UP FOR HEALTH CARE

Minimum two month extension would give more people the chance to sign up for health insurance plans

November 13, 2013

(Washington, DC) – As problems with Healthcare.gov persist, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is today introducing legislation that would give people in New Hampshire and around the country more time to get educated about health care options and sign up for a plan.  The ACA Enrollment Extension Act would specifically give people a minimum of an extra two months to sign up for health care plans through the health care exchanges and would also protect individuals from being penalized for the amount of time that enrollment is extended.  The legislation would also give the Health and Human Services Secretary flexibility to further extend enrollment if Healthcare.gov isn’t fully functional on December 1st.

“It’s not fair to penalize people for not having health insurance because of a broken website,” said Senator Shaheen. “People need adequate time to consider their available options and sign up for health insurance and the ongoing technical issues aren’t allowing that. As ongoing problems with healthcare.gov cut into that time frame and are hindering the enrollment process, giving people more time to sign up is a matter of common sense.”

Shaheen first expressed concerns about the disastrous roll out of the Affordable Care Act in October when she called for more time for people to sign up for health insurance plans.  That effort has since been endorsed by an additional 10 senators. 

The original co-sponsors of the ACA Enrollment Extension Act are Senators Mark Udall (D-CO), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).