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HomeNewsLatest Lawlessness Delays ObamaCare Deadline For Payments

Latest Lawlessness Delays ObamaCare Deadline For Payments

The Obama administration on Thursday unilaterally delayed another ObamaCare deadline, pushing back the date to make first payments for coverage under the law. Rather than holding to the December 23 deadline, insurers will be forced to accept premium payments through the law’s stated deadline for people who are seeking coverage starting on January 1.

In a conference call with reporters, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said insurers have to accept premiums even beyond December 31, and that the Obama administration was “strongly encouraging” them to retroactively cover consumers that submit late payments.

However, though the Obama administration has asked insurers to treat out-of-network providers as in-network, and refilling prescriptions covered under previous plans through January, it may not be the case. Under the law, the cost of care will not be paid until coverage is settled, potentially leaving scores of Americans on the hook to front the cost of health care services until they are reimbursed.

Also, instead of holding to the deadline to sign up, the administration on Thursday formalized its announcement that consumers have until December 23, rather than December 15 for healthcare coverage that goes into effect January 1.

(Visit ObamaCare Facts HQ)

Thursday’s announcement is the latest in a wave of lawless, unilateral delays that the Obama administration has implemented to buy Democrats, the law and the president time after the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.

In addition to delaying the premium payments deadline, the administration has delayed by one week the sign-up date for coverage beginning January 1, pushed back by six weeks the sign-up date for those seeking coverage by April 1, and delayed the second-year enrollment period until after the 2014 elections.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) office said the administration is sowing “confusion and chaos” with the changes.

“It’s clear the administration knows ObamaCare’s problems are only going to get worse, and patients will be the ones who suffer,” said Cantor spokesman Rory Cooper. “What’s not clear is whether they understand the confusion and chaos they continue to cause.”

(Visit ObamaCare Approval Rating Polls)

Health and Human Services policy director Chiquita Brooks-Lasure said on the call that the Obama administration was hoping and confident that many insurers would adopt those suggestions.

The Obama administration has been under pressure from embattled Democratic lawmakers who are concerned about reelection, such as Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), to guarantee that those who sign-up for coverage have the health insurance they think they already purchased by January 1.

The Obama administration for the first time on Thursday actually praised a so-called “special enrollment period” for those who have had technical difficulties with the flawed website, which still cannot guarantee the safety of private user information. Brooks-Lasure said it was not a new initiative, but the administration hasn’t actively pushed the program, because the website was not capable of hosting users, which in many ways, it still isn’t.

Insurers have not been receiving accurate user information concerning policies, and private user data. The more people signing up, the worse of a situation it would have been for the Obama administration and insurers. A recent PPD study outlined a cost of over $1 billion for the broken website, which was known to be problematic far before the launch date and before the government shutdown, when Democrats said they refused to negotiate over the law.

(Visit ObamaCare Costs HQ)

White House press secretary Jay Carney, for example, has been pressed about whether the administration can guarantee coverage to ObamaCare enrollees, but has yet to mention the special enrollment period.

Federal officials are encouraging consumers to call their insurance providers to confirm their enrollments.

The delay of the premium payments deadline will also affect the monthly enrollment data the administration releases.

Health and Human Services said this week that about 260,000 people picked out private health plans under ObamaCare in November, bringing the total number of enrollments to about 365,000. But private White House emails cautioned officials not to trust in those numbers, because they include those who haven’t even made a payment yet.

Republicans have challenged Sebelius to break down the enrollment numbers to show how many people have paid for their coverage.

Sebelius had pledged that Health and Human Services would provide a breakdown between those who have paid and those who have selected a plan before the end of the year. However, the release of that data seems conveniently unlikely with the new December 31 deadline.

Another ObamaCare broken promise.

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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