We all knew this one was coming, right? Administration officials can stand around and talk about how the March 31st deadline is the real deal until they’re blue in the face, but you know they’ve been watching the pace at which Healthcare.gov signups have been trickling in like hawks — and while they’ve been conspicuously backing away from their erstwhile goal of 7 million enrollments in the opening phase, this would seem to suggest that the pace still isn’t running as quickly as they’d like it to be. From the Washington Post:
The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health-care plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.
Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.
Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth. …
Administration officials said the accommodation is an attempt to prepare for a possible surge of people trying to sign up in the final days before the deadline. Such a flood could leave some people unable to get through the system.
An “honor system.” Glorious.