SALT LAKE CITY – Extending the open enrollment phase of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may cause some Americans to delay getting vital health insurance, according to Jason Stevenson, communications director with Utah Health Policy Project.
But several U.S. senators are calling on Washington to extend open enrollment because of the major technical issues plaguing healthcare.gov.
Stevenson says extending the deadline beyond March 31 probably won’t help matters.
“I think if you start pushing the deadline back a couple of months – you know – it reduces the incentive to go and sign up,” he explains. “We know that people sign up at the last minute. That’s the way it works.”
Healthcare.gov has experienced major technical problems since launching October 1.
President Barack Obama has pledged to resolve the matter within a few weeks.
Despite the challenges navigating healthcare.gov, Stevenson says the website seems to be improving a little bit each day.
“Last week, we got a bunch of people through, and it is sort of now a day-to-day, week-to-week thing,” he says. “But by the end of November, we know that this website is going to be a lot better than it is right now and hopefully fixed 100 percent. “
Healthcare.gov is the marketplace where Americans in many states go to buy health insurance through the ACA.
The senators asking for the open enrollment extension say that given the problems with the website, Americans will need more time to make an informed decision about buying health insurance.