by: Craig Lucie Updated:
ATLANTA - If you have started the sign-up process for the Affordable Care Act, but haven't finished, the White House is giving you more time.
“A lot of people, by nature, wait until the last minute for things. We are coming up against crunch time,” said Amanda Ptashkian who is a health insurance navigator.
Health and Human Services is now offering a grace period.
“If you have tried before March 31 to enroll in the marketplace and haven't been able to finish the application, the extension applies to you,” Ptashkian said.
With the new grace period comes another addition to Healthcare.gov.
“There’s going to be an additional box on the Healthcare.gov website that asks you whether or not you have tried in the past to go forward with the application. You click that box, and it will allow you a special enrollment period,” said Ptashkian.
Jesse Orrock tried signing up on Healthcare.gov, but he wasn't successful.
“The online portion had its issues with such a high volume and caused it to have errors and delays,” said Orrock.
The Obama administration said they've seen a surge in demand and they want to make sure people get insurance coverage, but the March 31 date is still a hard deadline.
“If they haven't started it, then really they have missed the opportunity. You are supposed to have begun the process at least before March 31,” explained Ptashkian.
Orrock told Channel 2 Action News that he was worried about missing out, and now he says it's been worth the wait.
“Just getting healthcare finally is a huge weight off my shoulders. It’s been a long time coming. It’s just good knowing that it’s there,” said Orrock.
Just how much time you will now have, if you have started the process is not known yet. Even the navigators said they are still waiting on some more details from Health and Human Services. Republicans are calling it another delay in Obamacare.