Obamacare Deadline Extended For Those Starting Process Before March 31

Obamacare Deadline Extended For Those Starting Process Before March 31

Due to the surge in last-minute enrollments in the Affordable Care Act, the March 31 deadline has been extended for those who have started but  not completed their enrollment before March 31.

"If consumers are in line on the 31st and can't finish, we won't shut the door on them," said Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. Under the health care law, consumers who aren't insured by the end of March may have had to pay a penalty of as much as 1% of their income.

With the last minute surge, the U.S. effort may meet or exceed President Obama's symbolic goal of 6 million Americans insured under the Affordable Care Act. Obama administration officials have been deployed across the country over the last month to help push enrollment in advance of the deadline.

The healthcare law seeks to cover many of the nation's 48 million uninsured people, either through private plans sold on the exchanges or through expanded Medicaid programs in about half the states.

"We are thrilled to see a surge of activity, with near-record levels of traffic on HealthCare.gov in recent days," said Peters. "Our systems are ready to handle these high volumes in the remaining days before the deadline."