State House News Service's Matt Murphy reports that residents who had trouble signing up for health insurance through the state's troubled Health Connector website now have a little more time to do so:
Massachusetts residents who have had difficulty signing up through the Health Connector for unsubsidized health insurance coverage will be given an extra two weeks to enroll under an extension plan to be presented Thursday, two days after President Barack Obama announced a similar reprieve for frustrated consumers on the national level.
Sarah Iselin, the special advisor who Gov. Deval Patrick put in charge of fixing the state’s dysfunctional health insurance sign-up website, plans to discuss the change to the state’s open enrollment process on Thursday when the Health Connector board meets.
Residents who have had trouble completing enrollment to due technical problems with the website will be allowed to shop online for unsubsidized plans through April 15, with payment due April 23 for coverage starting on May 1.
The open enrollment deadline was supposed to arrive on Monday, but the Obama administration announced this week that those who encountered problems shopping through the federal online marketplace would be given a similar two-week extension.
Murphy also reports that the Connector has been able to eliminate a massive backlog of paper applications from residents looking for subsidized health insurance:
After starting with a backlog of 72,000 applications in February and receiving an additional 1,000 applications a day, Connector staff, with the help of hundreds of workers brought on board through the consultant Optum, cleared the remaining 21,000 applications over the past week and officials are confident they can now keep up with new requests as they arrive.