Obamacare to hit 10 million as the deadline is extended

WASHINGTON — According to a press release from The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it will extend Sunday’s registration deadline for anyone who recently started but did not complete registration on the federally-administered health care marketplace (Obamacare.)

The extended enrollment period – from Feb. 16-22 – will give consumers who encountered delays this weekend an extra week to complete registration on Healthcare.gov or over the phone. Health care coverage for those users would kick in Mar. 1.

According to The Wall Street Journal once the final numbers are counted more than 10 million people will have signed up for health insurance in state and federal marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act or were re-enrolled in coverage for 2015.

Nearly 7.5 million people have selected a plan or were automatically re-enrolled on the federal exchange, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of Health and Human Services. At least 2.4 million people have come in through state-run exchanges, she said. Those numbers include people who have selected a plan but may not necessarily have paid their first month’s premium.

If those numbers hold and they should be then the enrollment will exceed the 9 million number estimated by the White House. Part of the reason for the increase numbers has to do with the fact that sign ups have gone much smoother than last year, when technology problems with the federal site, HealthCare.gov, frustrated consumers who in some cases faced long waits or gave up on enrolling.

The latest good news about the sign -ups for the Affordable Care Act come as bad news to  House Republicans on last week to  repeal the law, though such a measure won’t get past the White House. A case King v. Burwell   before the U.S. Supreme Court tests the legality of billions of dollars in subsidies provided to more than six million people through the federal exchange. Republicans opposed to the law see that case as an opportunity to make substantial changes to the law or tear it apart entirely.

According to the Miami Herald over 900,000 Floridians could lose Obamacare tax subsidies under a new U.S. Supreme Court case, but state political leaders say they’re making no plans to deal with the potential fallout. Right now the state is in a “Wait and see posture.”

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.