When Will The First Premium Payment Be Due?

Although the new rules announced on Thursday finalized the administration decision to extend the enrollment deadline for Jan. 1 coverage until Dec. 23, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also asked insurers to give consumers more time to pay their premiums.

The Washington Post: Administration Will Give Some Consumers More Time To Buy, Pay For Health Insurance
The Obama administration announced Thursday it will give some Americans more time to buy health plans through the federal insurance marketplace and urged the insurance industry to make it easier for consumers to make the transition to the new coverage. The revisions come as a Dec. 23 enrollment deadline looms for people who want insurance that begins Jan. 1. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did not extend that deadline Thursday, but for the first time directed insurers to give consumers until Dec. 31 to pay (Goldstein, 12/12). 

USA Today: HHS Seeks Insurance Deadline Extension
The government asked insurers to grant people extra time to buy health insurance to gain coverage by Jan. 1. "There's still ample time for folks to research their options, talk things over with their families and select a plan," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday. People may sign up until Dec. 23 for Jan. 1 coverage. "We're recommending that insurers extend this deadline further," she said (Kennedy, 12/12). 

CNN: Sebelius Takes New Steps To Ensure Obamacare Coverage January 1
Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced new steps on Thursday to ensure that people purchasing health plans on a new insurance exchange will have coverage starting on January 1. The new rules finalize a previously-announced decision to extend the deadline to purchase insurance for coverage beginning at the start of 2014. Originally consumers had to enroll in a plan by December 15 if they wanted coverage beginning January 1, but the new rule allows individuals eight more days, pushing that deadline back to December 23 (Aigner-Treworgy, 12/12). 

Fox News: ObamaCare: Another Deadline Slips
Another Obamacare deadline was pushed back on Thursday and now the White House is asking insurers to accept late payments and still give individuals coverage in the interim. The Department of Health and Human Services extended the deadline for individuals who want to be covered on the first of the year to Dec. 31 from Dec. 23. HHS is asking insurers to accept payments through this extended date and give consumers additional time to pay their first month’s premium while still offering coverage starting on Jan. 1 (Rogers, 12/12).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.