KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

MNsure To Give Some Deadline Flexibility To Last-Minute Health Exchange Shoppers

Minnesota officials announced Monday that people who hit technical snags that prevent them from completing the sign up process by March 31 may still be able to avoid the federal tax penalty for not having health insurance.   

The Wall Street Journal: Some Leeway On Coverage Deadline
Some states are worried that lingering technical problems may prevent people from completing the sign-up process, especially if a surge of enrollees clogs sites in the final days. Consumers have until March 31 to sign up for insurance coverage and avoid facing a financial penalty for 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. On Monday, Minnesota said it would extend a completion deadline for anyone who starts the process of enrolling in a plan by midnight on March 31 but doesn't finish it. Maryland and Nevada also have extended the deadline for people who can show they began to sign-up before the end of the month (Corbett Dooren, 3/24).

Pioneer Press: MNsure: Last-Minute Consumers Won't Be Penalized If They Run Into Glitches 
People who run into technical problems at MNsure that prevent them from obtaining health insurance by March 31 still might be able to avoid a federal tax penalty, health exchange officials announced Monday. The deadline for people to obtain coverage remains March 31, said Scott Leitz, the interim chief executive officer at MNsure (Snowbeck, 3/24).

Minnesota Public Radio: MNsure Grants Reprieve For Late Enrollment Snags
Consumers who make a good faith effort to enroll in health coverage through Minnesota's online insurance marketplace can avoid a penalty even if they don't complete the process by the deadline of midnight March 31, MNsure officials said Monday. Until now, agency officials have said consumers had to select and pay for a plan by the deadline. But given a likely rush of last minute enrollments, MNsure will offer an extension for consumers who have started the process but couldn't finish before the clock runs out, MNsure interim CEO Scott Leitz said (Stawicki, 3/24).

The Star Tribune: MNsure Lays Out Flexible Deadline Options For Health Insurance Sign-Ups
Aiming to give Minnesotans every possible chance to buy health insurance before the March 31 deadline, MNsure officials on Monday said they will grant some flexibility to those making a good-faith effort to buy coverage when the clock strikes midnight that night. MNsure interim CEO Scott Leitz stressed the state insurance exchange isn’t softening the deadline. He compared the newly announced steps to allowing people to vote if they’re standing in line when the polls close (Crosby, 3/24).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.