Today is a Huge Test for the Future of the Affordable Care Act

Dec. 23rd is the Last Day to Pay For Obamacare Insurance to Guarantee Coverage Jan. 1st

MacIver News Service | December 23, 2013

[Madison, Wisc…] Monday is supposedly the last day to sign up and pay for Obamacare on the federal exchange to guarantee coverage by January 1st, but no one can say that for sure due to President Obama’s continued attempts to fine-tune the law.

President Obama said on Friday that one million people had signed up on the exchange through the third week of December, up from the 365,000 that signed up through the end of November. However, the President did not say how many had actually paid for insurance.

In order for coverage to begin on January 1st, customers were told they are required to provide payment before the end of December 23rd.

None of the reports from the Obama administration have included the total amount of people who paid for insurance, so it is hard to estimate how many will actually receive insurance starting on the first day of the New Year.

The health care law was granted another delay last week, as well. Individuals and families that received a cancellation notice for their current insurance plan will not be required to sign up for a new plan under the individual mandate.

On top of the individual mandate exemption, the administration is granting a “hardship exemption.” This exemption will allow individuals with cancelled insurance plans that consider their new premium unaffordable to be exempt from purchasing insurance or be allowed to purchase a catastrophic plan, which was originally meant for people under 30.

Insurance companies also have the option of delaying the payment date until January 10th to retroactively qualify for insurance, according to the Obama administration. This is, however, up to the insurance companies to decide.

To guarantee insurance on the Obamacare exchange, coverage must be purchased by 11:59PM EST on December 23, which would be 10:59PM for Wisconsinites.