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WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Senior Obama administration officials confirmed on Wednesday that people enrolled in health plans that don't comply with requirements of the Affordable Care Act may stay in those plans for an additional two years.
It's the second time the Obama administration has delayed enforcement of the health reform law for people in plans that don't meet the standards of the law, sometimes called Obamacare.
Last November, the administration bowed to pressure from angry consumers and lawmakers, allowing people to keep their current coverage for another year before finding new coverage that meets the minimum requirements of the law -- as long as their states permitted insurers to extend those policies.
The latest extension would cover policies issued up to Oct. 1, 2016.
The cancellation last fall of an estimated 4.7 million individual policies that were deemed lacking was a damaging blow to the rollout of the controversial health reform law. President Barack Obama had repeatedly told Americans that, "If you like your health care plan you can keep it."
Simultaneously, the unveiling of the HealthCare.gov website -- created to help people find and sign up for health insurance policies that best suited their needs -- was plagued by computer glitches that took two months to fix.
As many as 500,000 Americans are believed to be in plans that don't meet minimum requirements under the Affordable Care Act.
Senior administration officials said the extension is intended to give people more opportunity to choose the type of coverage that works best for them and their families.
The administration also extended the 2015 open enrollment period by a month. It will begin Nov. 15, 2014 -- after the midterm elections -- and run through Feb. 15, 2015.
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SOURCE: March 5, 2013, fact sheet, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services