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OLYMPIA — Although President Obama has extended the deadline for those who claim to have started their Affordable Care Act enrollment benefits, this state's deadline remains this coming Monday, March 31.
Monday is the do-or-die deadline for signing up for health coverage in Washington state through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange for coverage in 2014.
Those not signed up could face federal tax penalties on returns filed with the IRS next year.
A spokesman for Washington Healthplanfinder, the state exchange portal, said the agency believes extending the deadline would be disruptive.
“We have communicated early and often about the importance of the March 31 deadline and the steps that consumers should take to ensure they will have coverage prior to close,” said Michael Marchand, the spokesman.
“To change that messaging in the final week would likely create more confusion for the consumer and force in-person assisters, agents, brokers and call center representatives to divert focus from enrolling those who wanted to get coverage.”
Richard Onizuka, chief executive for the exchange, announced last week that the state would stick with the deadline.
Customers must complete the application process and submit payment by 11:59 p.m. this Monday to qualify for coverage beginning May 1, Onizuka said.
Otherwise, customers can enroll during the next open enrollment period of Nov. 15, 2014, to Feb. 15, 2015, for coverage that takes effect in 2015, he added.
Details and enrollment forms are at www.wahealthplanfinder.org.
The toll-free Customer Support Center can be phoned at 855-923-4633.