The Obama administration on Friday extended by eight days the date by which consumers must sign up for new health plans in order to gain coverage effective Jan. 1.
Federal officials said consumers will now have until Dec. 23 to enroll in coverage that will kick in by the beginning of 2014 instead of Dec. 15.
The move comes in response to continued problems with HealthCare.gov, the federal website operating the online marketplaces where consumers in 36 states, including Illinois, are supposed to be able to compare and purchase insurance coverage.
"We want to give consumers as much time as possible" to make decisions, said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency handling the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
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Original headline: BRIEF: U.S. extends deadline for consumers to sign up for health plans
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