While most people are worrying about what insurance company they are going to select and the insurance deductibles that they are going to pay with their new policies, residents in California are breathing a sigh of relief because the December 15 deadline does not apply to them. Many residents in the state have been worried that they have missed the deadline or that something will happen if they don’t enroll, but officials in the state have tried to reassure everyone that there is no need to worry at the moment. Residents who live in California have another six weeks to make a decision about the kind of policy that they want.
People who live in the other 39 states in the country that depend on the federally funded insurance program had to make a decision by December 15. California residents have until January 31. Many people in the states with the December deadline feel that this isn’t fair and don’t understand why California doesn’t have to follow the same rules. The original date was later than December 15 until it was changed this year. California lawmakers didn’t want to make residents have to make hasty decisions about health insurance, so they decided not to change the open enrollment deadline date. The goal of the date change by the Trump administration is to decrease confusion and to try to get the healthcare program to operate as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
There are other states that don’t fully rely on the federal program that have also offered extensions past December 15. New York has given residents until January 31, and Washington state is giving residents until January 15 to make a final decision. Residents in California who want their health plans to start on January 1 do need to make a decision by December 22. If they wait until December 23 or until January 31, then the coverage will begin at a later date. Because of the lack of pressure to sign up for a plan by a certain date, California has seen an increase in the number of people opting for the healthcare program.