Health insurance companies will give people who have purchased a health plan through HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts until Jan. 10 to pay their first premium for coverage that starts on Jan. 1.
The extension gives consumers an additional 10 days to pay their first premiums and still have coverage with an effective date of Jan. 1.
America's Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry's lobbying group, announced Wednesday that its members would voluntarily offer the extension. The Obama administration had previously asked insurers to consider offering an extension beyond the current Dec. 31 deadline to ensure that people's coverage would start on time despite problems with HealthCare.gov.
“Our community is taking an important step to give consumers greater peace of mind about their health care coverage,” AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni said in a statement.
AHIP also said in the release that while there have been improvements to HealthCare.gov's back-end, more work needed to be done to prevent insurers from receiving missing or incomplete enrollment information.