Christmas Eve? What a Perfect Time for a Vaguely Worded Obamacare Deadline Delay!



Here's how the Obama administration celebrated Christmas Eve: by issuing a vague, kinda-sorta extension of Obamacare's deadline to enroll in private coverage that kicks in on January 1. Via The New York Times

The Obama administration said Tuesday that it would provide more time for people to complete their applications for health insurance if they could show that they missed the deadline because of problems with the federal health care website.

And how, exactly, will that work? The New York Times reports that…that is a good question: 

It was not clear on Tuesday how many people would be affected, or how consumers would prove that website errors had prevented them from signing up by the deadline on Tuesday night.

The announcement itself was vague, saying only that if website problems had prevented any consumers from enrolling, they might qualify for what the government has called "a special enrollment period." The administration did not say how long that would last. Nor did it define what website errors might be involved.

So, that's helpful.

Remember that this is not the first time the administration has delayed the deadline to sign up for coverage that begins on the first day of 2014. The original date was December 15, which was extended to December 23, which was then extended, semi-unofficially, to December 24. 

At this point, it's all got to be pretty confusing for folks who aren't, say, spending Monday morning of Christmas week scanning for the latest in unannounced changes to Obamacare's sign-up deadlines, or staying up late on Christmas Eve to find out what new, cloudy exceptions the administration has in store for the next few days.