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The deadline to enroll in Obamacare expired Monday, March 31, 2014, or did it?

Despite the federally run HealthCare.gov website having glitches that made last-minute Affordable Care Act enrollment difficult, the White House has met its’ original sign-up target. President Barack Obama announced that 7.1 million people had successfully secured health care coverage using federal or state exchanges.

Those numbers may grow thanks to existing loopholes that will allow more Americans to take advantage of Obamacare. Individuals who began but never completed Affordable Care Act enrollment still have time on their side.

Extend the Obamacare Deadline

Extend the Obamacare Deadline

Visit HealthCare.gov, and log off and then back into the site. After completing  the form, check off the blue box indicating previously enrollment efforts. Federal officials will review and process both online applications and paper applications received by April 7. Medicaid and CHIP applicants have no time restrictions.

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) allowed states to set up their own health care insurance exchanges and deadline flexibility based on location.

In New Mexico, officials opted to run a state/federal partnership health exchange. Website enrollment is dependent on the Department of Health and Human Services as well as state involvement. That relationship now allows New Mexico residents, to put their name on an exchange waiting list. If approved, they will receive an extension and assistance.

Oregon politicians and health officials created their own exchange. As a result, Oregon residents have an open health insurance enrollment period until April 30, 2014. For state implemented marketplaces, those who started the enrollment process before March 31, have the best chance of still being able to secure health insurance.

The conditions to qualify for state extensions vary. For example, Californians who started their application by 11:59 p.m. on March 31, have until April 15 at 11:59 to complete the process. While Hawaii residents who started their enrollment process on March 31 are being granted more time to finish the process. HealthInsurance.org compiled a complete state guide.

If those techniques do not work, there are still opportunities for health insurance enrollment courtesy of a special enrollment period. Individuals may qualify to enroll in the health insurance marketplace for up to 60 days following life-changing events including job loss, childbirth or marriage. Additionally, the Federal government will make time exceptions for bona fide complex cases.

The next open enrollment period for 2015 coverage is scheduled to begin November 15, 2014 and end February 15, 2015.

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