POLITICS: PennAve

Congress, staff get more time to enroll in Obamacare because of glitches

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Congress,Obamacare,David M. Drucker,PennAve

Members of Congress and their staff are being given more time to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare after problems with the online DC Health Link insurance exchange prevented them from meeting Monday's enrollment deadline.

Lawmakers and staff who had trouble buying insurance because of technical glitches in the local exchange were told late Friday to contact the payroll office by the close of business Monday.

The Office of Personnel Management is granting the extensions to "eligible individuals [who] have made bona fide but unsuccessful attempts to enroll in a DC SHOP plan," according to John O’Brien, OPM director of healthcare and insurance, said.

Chief House Administrative Officer Dan Strodel told members' offices that the unspecified extensions would ensure that their new health plans would take effect Jan. 1 even though they missed Monday's deadline.

As the Washington Examiner reported, existing, government-backed health care benefits for lawmakers and staff that were supposed to expire Dec. 31will be extended through Jan. 31 to ensure that there is no gap in coverage during the switchover to Obamacare.

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