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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tips to Help Americans Understand the Health Insurance Deadlines

The original deadline to sign up for health insurance coverage was February 15, 2014. However, that deadline has been pushed back to March 31. But there remains some confusion over deadlines for signup vs. effective policy dates. Here are some tips to help you understand.

January 1, 2014 - this is the date on which the Affordable Care Act states that Americans need to begin buying healthcare insurance.

March 31, 2014 - this is the date by which Americans must sign up for insurance to avoid a penalty.

Signup vs. Effective Date - the March 31 deadline does not mean the policy has to go into effect that day; it means you must sign up by that date.

Reason for the date change - the original deadline was February 15. However, the deadline has been extended to allow Americans more time. Many people have experienced delays in their signing up on the exchanges because of errors in the system's website. The healthcare website,, has not experienced a smooth launch. It is fraught with error messages, system shutdowns, and lengthy delays in the registration process.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire has urged the government to consider even further extensions to help Americans become familiar with the new system and to give them more time to make their choices. According to Senator Shaheen, "Allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options, and enroll."

DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.