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More exchanges bend deadline

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More state-based exchange agencies are trying to help consumers get more time to apply for individual commercial coverage without formally changing the March 31 deadline.

Managers of the Maryland exchange announced last week that they’d give consumers who’d made any effort to enroll by March 31 extra time to complete their applications, and managers of the Nevada exchange said they’d offer a 60-day “special enrollment period” to any consumers affected by enrollment system problems.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said yesterday it will give consumers who say they started their applications by March 31 until April 15 to complete the applications.

Covered California managers followed the HHS lead yesterday by announcing that who start individual qualified health plan applications by 11:59 p.m. March 31 will have until 11:59 p.m. April 15 to complete the applications and choose plans.

Paper applications must be postmarked by March 31 to meet California’s individual plan open enrollment deadline.

The District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority, the manager of the DC Health Link exchange, said it will give consumers until April 15 to complete applications if they say they needed in-person help or telephone help, or if they say they started the enrollment process but could not finish it, officials said.

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