Some consumers who missed the Feb. 15 PPACA enrollment deadline are in luck.
The administration said this weekend they are granting customers an extra week to buy health insurance if they have faced long wait times or technical issues when trying to submit applications over the final sign-up weekend.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced one day after the official enrollment period ended that those consumers will have under Sunday, Feb. 22 to buy coverage.
To get the extension, officials said that consumers must "attest" that they faced longer than normal wait times or technical issues.
The extension was in part prompted by an outage of an Internal Revenue Service function for Obamacare enrollment on Saturday, which prevented some from getting their income verified so they could enroll for coverage on the federal and state exchanges.
If a deadline extension sounds familiar, it’s because it is: The administration also extended the PPACA deadline last year after HealthCare.gov suffered many well-documented technical difficulties. The exchange websites, and enrollment in general, during PPACA's second year have gone much smoother.
Additionally, most state exchanges have also extended their deadline to enroll in health coverage. In California, consumers who have started to enroll now have until Feb. 20 to complete enrollment, and Maryland residents have until Feb. 28. Massachusetts and Rhode Island announced extensions until Feb. 23 because of severe weather. Washington state offers the longest extension: Residents have until April 17 to enroll.
Under PPACA, consumers must have health insurance or face a fine of $325 per person or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater.
PPACA enrollment has hit about 10 million so far.