Federal Obamacare Deadline Extends, But Connecticut's Does Not

Mar 26, 2014

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

As the deadline to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act approaches, the federal government now says it will give some people extra time to enroll. But that change won't apply to people in Connecticut.

Thirty six states let the federal government run their health insurance marketplaces under Obamacare. But Connecticut isn't one of them. It decided to set up its own exchange, build its own web sites, hire its own vendors, and run its own show. Here's another thing Connecticut can do -- make some of its own rules.

"Connecticut is maintaining a deadline of March 31," said Kevin Counihan, who runs the state's health care exchange called Access Health CT. He said moving the deadline doesn't make sense in Connecticut. "We're in the business of enrolling people. We're not in the business of denying coverage. At the same time, like everyone else, we have to have a reasonable amount of time to process these applications and make sure that folks have time to pay their premiums and get their ID cards out."

Counihan said that people who have started to enroll when the deadline passes Monday night won't be rejected. But there won't be more grace time than that, because  everyone needs some finality, he said.

"The market needs some finality for this to have any value," Counihan said. "The insurers need finality for them to be able to process the eligibility information. We need the finality so that we can do the cleanup work on the applications. So it really is in everyone's interest."

In other words, Monday's midnight deadline isn't going to change.

(Interested in learning more about the penalties for not enrolling?  Check this link out.)