Health enrollment extended out of ‘caution’


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services extended open enrollment in the federal health-insurance exchange until early Wednesday, the government announced Monday.

The original deadline was Sunday, but the agency said in a statement it was offering the extension “out of an abundance of caution, to accommodate consumers who attempted to enroll in coverage during the final hours of open enrollment but who may have experienced issues."

The extension expires at 3 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

“While the website and the call center remained open for business on Dec. 15 with over half a million consumers enrolling throughout the day, some consumers were asked to leave their name at the call center,” the federal agency said in the announcement Monday. “Those consumers who have already left their contact information at the call center do not need to come back and apply during this extension because a call center representative will follow up with them later this week.”

The exchange is part of the federal Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Florida leads the nation in the number of people enrolled in Obamacare plans, with 1,029,944 people from Nov. 1 to Dec. 7, according to the latest enrollment data. The figure does not include Floridians who are automatically re-enrolled in health plans. Nationwide 3,882,671 people had selected health plans during the current open enrollment period.

The Trump administration has slashed funding for advertising Obamacare enrollment by 90 percent.