Another Obamacare Deadline Extended

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 09:20 PM

By Jason Devaney

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The deadline for enrolling in healthcare plans through the Obamacare program has been extended again, this time to June 30.

The extension applies to people enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), which was set up by the government as a temporary way to gain health insurance for people who were denied coverage.

PCIPs were supposed to stop covering patients at the end of last year, but the deadline has been extended three times, and was to end April 30.

The Centers for Medicaid Services announced Thursday that the enrollment period for those folks will last through the end of June.

"State-based Marketplaces are adopting a similar special enrollment period," reads the announcement. "PCIP enrollees will have until June 30, 2014, to select a plan. If the enrollee is otherwise eligible to enroll in a qualified health plan, coverage will be effective back to May 1 for anyone who uses this special enrollment period."

Deadlines tied to the Affordable Care Act have been fluid from the start. Officials pushed back the March 31 date for enrolling in a plan to April 15, giving Americans more time to sign up for healthcare before being slapped with a tax penalty if they were uninsured.

People who missed that deadline most likely will not be allowed to enroll in Obamacare until the beginning of 2015.

"People are not going to be able to buy individual and family policies, and that's part of Obamacare," John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis told Fox News earlier this month. "What makes it so surprising is the whole point of Obamacare was to encourage people to get insurance, and now the market has been completely closed down for the next seven months."

Goodman said only certain life-altering events — such as marriage, divorce, a death in the family, a change of income, or a job loss — would allow people to enroll in a plan between now and next year.

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