Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Obamacare's Newest Delay Is Neverending

By Michael Douglass and Dave Williamson – Mar 28, 2014 at 6:30PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Obamacare exchange delays are announced. What you need to know.

Editor's Note: While this segment was being filmed, the Obama administration announced that 6 million people have signed up for health insurance.

No component of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has been more in the spotlight than the so-called "individual mandate" requiring people to sign up for health insurance by March 31st or face a tax penalty. Replying to questions about whether the deadline would be pushed back to allow people more time to sign up, HHS spokesperson Julie Bataille recently said that HHS "[doesn't] actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period."

Shortly thereafter, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which runs the federal exchanges, announced that people unable to finish shopping for health insurance on Monday will have the opportunity to continue their Obamacare insurance applications for an indeterminate amount of time.

How this change affect insurance stocks like WellPoint (ELV 1.59%)Humana (HUM 0.91%), and Aetna (AET)? A great deal depends on who signs up as a result of this extension, as that will affect the population insured and whether this will be a net positive or negative for insurers. In this segment from Thursday's Market Checkup, Motley Fool health care analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass discuss these issues and how they affect your investments.

David Williamson has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does Michael Douglass. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of WellPoint. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.