Obamacare Sign-Up Deadline Extended a Week for Some

Personal Finance
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If you started, but never finished, enrolling for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act before the Feb. 15 deadline, you’ve got another week to wrap things up.

The deadline for so-called Obamacare in 2015 has been extended to Sunday, Feb. 22, for people who say they attempted to get signed up but were slowed down by busy call centers or technical issues on HealthCare.gov.

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“We know many of you worked hard to enroll in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace,” read an announcement Tuesday on the federal Department of Health and Human Services website. “Despite your best efforts, you may not have been able to complete your application and select a plan.”

On Saturday, a technical glitch on HealthCare.gov briefly made it impossible for applicants to have their incomes verified via the site. Income verification is required because, in many cases, the premiums people pay for coverage obtained from the government-run marketplace are based in part on how much they earn.

Some states also had sought to extend the deadline because of difficulties brought on by winter storms. In several states that run their own marketplaces, including New York, deadlines to sign up for 2015 coverage were extended even further.

HHS says people who still need to finish their applications may do so by logging on to their accounts on HealthCare.gov or by calling 800-318-2596 to enroll over the phone.

The one-week extension is intended for people signing up for health care for the first time. People who already had coverage in 2014 may not use this week to change their existing plans.

Health coverage for those who enroll during the one-week grace period will kick in March 1.