Many Scramble For Last-Minute Obamacare Enrollment

Date: December 15, 2015

Government Call Centers Overwhelmed As Enrollment Deadline Arrives

The deadline to enroll in Obamacare for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2016 was Tuesday, Dec. 15. In the days leading up to the deadline, demand among consumers reportedly increased. USA Today reported that federal insurance exchange call centers had their phone lines “overwhelmed” on Monday by “consumers anxious” to enroll the day before the deadline. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Lori Lodes said in a statement, “The energy is outpacing where we were last year ahead of the December 15 deadline.” The New York Times reported that the surge was so great officials had “to record telephone numbers so they could return calls later to arrange for coverage.” Those consumers who were being called back were set to receive “a brief special enrollment period” that will allow them to still get coverage in January. The White House provided rankings for the 20 communities in the President’s Healthy Communities Challenge; he challenged these places with large numbers of uninsured residents or a large proportion of residents lacking coverage to compete on signing up people who were uninsured. However, Administration officials declined to provide the actual enrollment data for the cities. The Washington Times reported that the White House was in “an all-out blitz Monday to boost Obamacare signups.” The Times pointed out that although enrollment is technically open until Jan. 31, “the baseline Obamacare tax for those without coverage” as of Jan. 1 “will more than double from $325 to $695.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

Mounting healthcare costs are one of the top challenges small businesses face. Another deadline for Obamacare brings with it a fresh reminder of these challenges.

Additional Reading

National Journal, The Hill, NBC News, and TIME were among the additional outlets covering the latest Obamacare enrollment deadline.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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