After consulting with insurers, the Obama administration has announced a change in the deadline for having insurance under the Affordable Care Act by Jan. 1.
Users of the new health insurance exchanges can be covered starting Jan. 1 if they enroll in an insurance plan by Dec. 23. The previous deadline was Dec. 15.
With the delay, the administration seeks to accommodate people who want to have coverage by Jan. 1 but have been unable to enroll because of technical problems with the website for browsing and purchasing insurance for people in 36 states.
The administration has said the site, www.healthcare.gov, should be operable for most users by the end of November. But that would have left only two weeks to enroll under the old deadline. The administration also has admitted some people still may have problems using the site after November.
The open enrollment period under the ACA extends through March 31, at which point most Americans must have insurance or owe a penalty.