The Obamacare Deadline No One Wants To Talk About

As the new year approaches, there are many important dates that the average United States citizen need pay attention to as our holiday shopping days countdown to zero and the new year fast approaches. Though there is one particular date this year a large percentage of our country may not be quite as aware about surrounding the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

The deadline date for people who are hoping to get healthcare beginning on January 1st, 2014 is fast approaching on December 23rd. The deadline, set by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, may be complicated by the much publicized problems that have arisen surrounding

The issues with the site started right from the beginning and before the website’s original starting date this past October. The new website was not initially able to handle over 500 users at once while still in the testing phrase and failed over a three day trial period. Even after the sites launch, some consumers who signed up for the enrollment were forced to delete their accounts and begin the process over again due to glitches in the system. These were just a few of the problems which plagued the Obama administrations’ signature piece of legislation which required people to sign up for the law or risk being fined.

One key potential danger that accompanies proceeding without healthcare coverage starting in January includes the financial penalties U.S. citizen may face:

1) Paying a penalty of 1% of your yearly household income.

2) Households being forced to pay a $95 per person penalty for the year ($ 47.50 per child under 18), the maximum penalty per families being $285.00.

To help people enroll and not be penalized, the Department of Health and Human Services, under the guidance of Kathleen Sibelius, announced a “special enrollment period” to help people sign up for the new law. “We are providing additional flexibility to consumers across the country to ensure they have access to coverage options that begin on January 1st, 2014” Sibelius said.

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz, for NPR

Thomas Manning

Thomas Manning

Thomas Manning

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