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Obamacare signup deadline extended to Monday

By Allen Cone
Obamacare signup deadline extended to Monday
Open enrollment for health insurance on HealthCare.gov began November 1 and the deadline for coverage effective Jan. 1 was extended four days to Monday. Photo by Txking/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The deadline to sign up for Affordable Care Act insurance coverage effective Jan. 1 was extended four days to Monday because of late demand, Health.gov announced.

Federal regulators late Thursday extended the deadline from Thursday for ACA, also known as Obamacare, "because of extraordinary demand at HealthCare.gov and our Marketplace Call Center." The insurance takes effect Jan. 1.

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Republican members of Congress and President-elect Donald Trump have vowed to repeal and replace the law.

"Nearly a million consumers have left their contact information to hold their place in line," Healthcare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan said in a statement. "Our goal is to provide affordable coverage to everyone seeking it before the deadline, and these two additional business days will give consumers an opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for Jan. 1 coverage."

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The new Healthcare.gov deadline is 11:59 p.m. Monday Pacific Time. Healthcare.gov handles ACA insurance sales for the 38 states without their own exchanges. Besides the website, people can call 1-800-508-6754.

Three states that operate their own exchanges -- California, New York and Connecticut -- already had Saturday as their deadlines for Jan. 1 coverage. And Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington state set Dec. 23 as the cutoff.

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Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Wednesday about 700,000 people signed up for plans Monday and Tuesday.

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Those who select a plan by Jan. 15 will have coverage beginning Feb. 1. And the last day of open enrollment is Jan. 31 for coverage beginning March 1.

Through February, roughly 12.7 million were in the marketplace for this year, and about 20 million enrolled in the marketplace, Medicaid expansion, young adults staying on their parents' plan and other coverage provisions, according to government figures.

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