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HHS tells insurers to push back Obamacare payment deadline

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Enrollees will now have until Dec. 31 to pay for insurance that begins Jan. 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today.

The payment deadline used to the same as the enrollment deadline — Dec. 23 — but HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the department is now requiring insurers to accept payment until at least Dec. 31 for coverage beginning the next day. HHS is also encouraging insurers to offer further flexibility on enrollment and payment deadlines.

Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty for those who have neither qualifying insurance nor an exemption will kick in only for those who have not enrolled and paid by the end of the enrollment period on March 31, 2014.

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