As politicians on the left and the right try to spin Tuesday's Obamacare news — "special enrollment period" vs. "yet another delay" — here's what you actually need to know: insurance companies expected this and deadline extensions for government programs are normal, and legal.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday night that people who attempt to enroll in a health care plan through the federal exchange by mid-April will be given a special enrollment period of an unknown length. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Obama administration was planning on creating some kind of work around for people who experienced technical problems. While detractors of the law will argue that this is another sign of "the unintended consequences of the Democrats’ failed healthcare law," as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus put it, it's not. Insurance companies expected this and are waiting to see what the full plan is, and the precedent for special enrollment periods is well established.
Insurance companies are "guarded"
The main concern here is how insurance companies think this move will affect them, and the premium proposals they'll submit to states insurance boards in May and June. According to Politico, several health plan officials said they were "guarded" and waiting to see what the administration's full plan was. While a slightly longer enrollment period means larger risk pools and possibly more young adults, they don't want the period to go on indefinitely.