The deadline for some people to sign up for the healthcare program, known as the Affordable Care Act, has been extended to February 20. As reported by several outlets, including MSN Money, a technical glitch on the website, Healthcare.gov, along with other sites associated with the Affordable Care Act, caused the program to crash. It prevented those who were attempting to get some form of insurance coverage. The problem with verifying income was to blame for the glitch.
MSNBC reveals more information on the deadline extension here.
With so many people trying to sign up in the closing minutes prior to the deadline, the program would not allow the completion of obtaining healthcare. Once the time passed, there were several people, single, along with families who had failed to sign up.
What does that mean for you?
If you were one of the many people who attempted to sign up for healthcare just before the deadline, you will be given until February 20 to complete your application. Those who were fearing the fine for not acquiring healthcare insurance might be able to breathe easy, if they were part of the group of people who initiated the online application process.
If you are still without healthcare and failed to sign up before the deadline, be prepared to have a lighter wallet.
The fine of either two percent or $325, whichever is greater awaits those who are not covered under a healthcare plan as of February 15.
According to AL.com, there are some democrats who disagree with the stiff penalty.
Three congressional leaders; Sander Levin from Michigan, and Washington’s Jim McDermott and Lloyd Doggett released a statement, pointing to a need for a special enrollment.
“Open enrollment period ended before many Americans filed their taxes. Without a special enrollment period, many people (who will be paying fines) will not have another opportunity to get health coverage this year.
“A special enrollment period will not only help many Americans avoid making an even larger payment next year, but, more importantly, it will help them gain quality health insurance for 2015.”
It is easy to understand their intentions as the proposal could help those who rely on income tax refunds to make ends meet, or get ahead on bills. Perhaps there is a way to link the sign-up for healthcare with income tax filings. Leaving it as a question that must be answered while the actual tax preparation is taking place. That way those who are uncovered by a healthcare plan can enroll for the Affordable Care Act, while getting their taxes done. That way the technical glitches that happened at the closing minutes of the deadline to file will not take place.
For those who did not get to complete their enrollment for healthcare, February 20 is just a few days away.