The Obama administration will require insurance companies to give people enrolling in health coverage under Obamacare until the ball drops on New Year's Eve to pay their first premium -- and is encouraging carriers to be even more flexible.
The new rules and recommendations were set out Thursday. They come amid growing concerns that people who have signed up for coverage, but have not yet paid their first premium, might see their coverage interrupted or delayed if they forget to pay that initial amount.
The administration will require insurers to accept premium payments through Dec. 31 for coverage that starts on Jan. 1.
On top of that, the administration is urging companies to allow people to make their first payment after Jan. 1 and apply their coverage retroactively to the first of the year. But carriers will have discretion about whether they will implement that policy.