(USA TODAY) - The start of the 2015 enrollment period under President Obama's new health care law is being pushed back a month, from Oct. 15 of next year to Nov. 15 -- just past the 2014 congressional elections.
The decision does not affect current enrollments for 2014.
Administration officials said the delay will give insurers more time to assess the experiences of the first year of the plan, helping them set polices and rates for 2015; they also noted that many people may enroll late for 2014 because of problems with the Healthcare.gov website.
"Insurers will need additional time," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Republicans questioned the delay.
"How can the administration defend delaying next year's open enrollment after months of refusing to admit that the law was not ready for prime time this year?" said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa., also accused the administration of playing politics in pushing back the date.
Responded Carney: "The fact is we're doing this because it makes sense for insurers."