Americans who want to make sure they have health insurance coverage on the first day possible under the healthcare reform law will have eight more days to get their applications in.
With enrollment still obstructed by problems with the federal government's online portal, the extra time to get coverage that's effective Jan. 1 could be particularly welcome to consumers who have been denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions or unable to afford coverage without the law's income-based premium subsidies.
Meanwhile, the presidentially appointed troubleshooter for HealthCare.gov pledged that the site's carrying capacity for simultaneous users will be doubled by the end of the month.
Julie Bataille, director of the office of communications at the CMS, announced at the daily press call Friday that the final day for enrolling through the federal health insurance marketplace and ensuring coverage by New Year's Day had been pushed back from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23. Bataille cited the experience of Massachusetts when its Health Connector initiative was launched in the spring of 2007.