Insurers expecting lower enrollments and now anticipating later mandate deadline

BY newsdesk  November 6, 2013 at 7:20 PM EST

“Given where we’re at today, our assumption is that there will be an extension to the open enrollment period.”

– Humana Chief Operating Officer Jim Murray on the Affordable Care Act rollout.

During testimony Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was pressed as to whether the Obama Administration may extend the deadline by which individuals must buy insurance to meet the mandate that kicks in next year. Sebelius insisted there would not be a delay.

Reuters, however, quoted two leading insurers this afternoon — United Healthcare and Humana — who said they are anticipating the deadline will now be extended. Humana said it had cut its own enrollment forecasts for the first year by half.