WASHINGTON — Members of Congress and their staff will be allowed to keep their health insurance past the end of the year deadline because of persistent problems plaguing the DC Health Link, The Colorado Observer has learned. A memo issued to House staffers Thursday night said that the Obama administration has been made aware of the “significant problems preventing members and staff in Washington, D.C. and in district offices from enrolling in a healthcare plan.”
The memo from Chief Administrative Officer of the House Dan Strodel said that while they are awaiting a decision to keep the enrollment time open past Dec. 9, health insurance coverage would be extended through Jan. 31.
The extension for members of Congress and nearly 12,000 staffers comes after nearly a quarter-million Coloradans had their insurance cancelled Nov. 1, and millions of policies have been cancelled nationwide.
The announcement also comes on the heels of a declaration this week that computer system bugs no longer plagued the Obamacare network but less than 50,000 customers a day could be processed.
Several Colorado lawmakers and staffers planned to enroll in the DC exchange, including Democratic Reps. Diana DeGette, Jared Polis, and Ed Perlmutter.
The deadline extension will apply to them, but not to Colorado Republicans who opted to enroll in the Colorado exchange, including Reps. Scott Tipton, and Cory Gardner. Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn has not announced which exchange he will opt for.