Surprise: Insurers push Obamacare payment deadline to late January

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and three more BCBS plans that are part of the privately held Health Care Service Corp chain have moved the first payment deadline to Jan. 30 from Jan. 10. All of the plans are sold through the federal website HealthCare.gov, which had a Dec. 24 deadline for customers to enroll and be guaranteed coverage by Jan. 1 in 36 states.

Others, including Aetna Inc, said they were still considering this Friday to be the payment deadline.

Technical problems prevented consumer access to HealthCare.gov in the first two months following its launch on Oct. 1. An emergency effort to fix the site allowed hundreds of thousands of people to use it daily by early December, and the Obama administration urged insurers to give consumers leeway to sort through any remaining errors. America’s Health Insurance Plans, a top industry trade and lobbying group, recommended a first payment deadline of Jan. 10.