(NEWSER) – Good news for procrastinators: Americans will now have an extra month and a half to get health insurance before facing a penalty under ObamaCare, meaning they won't face a fine if they sign up for a plan by March 31. The six-week delay (a change of tune for the White House) isn't because of website difficulties, but because people weren't certain when the penalty came into effect, officials tell theWashington Post. It hadn't been clear whether Americans simply had to sign up for a plan before the penalty took effect, or whether their coverage itself had to begin by that date, the Post and MarketWatch explain. Because of the way health insurance is processed, Americans would have needed to apply by Feb. 15 for coverage to kick in March 31; now, people won't be penalized as long as they've signed up by March 31, in which case their coverage would start May 1.
Posted Thursday, October 24th 2013 @ 9am by Matt Cantor, Newser Staff