Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius indicated Wednesday that the Obama administration will not extend Obamacare’s open enrollment period because of HealthCare.gov’s troubled rollout.
“At this point, congressman, they will have a full four months,” Sebelius said at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. “The open enrollment period is extraordinarily long. It’s about six times as long as a typical generous open enrollment period. And it’s important for the insurance partners to know who is in their pool so again they can stay in the market next year and know who they are insuring.”
“We think that the timetable will allow people four months’ time to fully use the website,” she added. “They can use it right now. They can use the call center. They can go to navigators. They can enroll.”
The administration has said that HealthCare.gov would be fully functional for the vast majority of users by the end of November. The enrollment period currently ends on March 31.
A group of 10 Democratic senators has formally asked Sebelius to extend the enrollment period. But that request has received significant pushback from insurers, who warn that it could lead to premium hikes in 2015.