White House Extends Health Care Enrollment Deadline by One Day

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Today was the deadline specified by the Affordable Care Act - infamously known as Obamacare - for Americans to enroll in the healthcare marketplaces in order to have insurance coverage by January 1, 2014.

But in a move that doesn't surprise many as the entire process has been fraught with not only controversy but several speed bumps along the way, the Obama administration announced on Monday that it will extend the enrollment deadline by one day.

“Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan 1,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille said in a statement.

HealthCare.gov has been tweeting updates from its official Twitter account:

The extension brings to mind the policy on voting days: if you're in line at the polling location before the cut-off time, you'll get a chance to cast your vote.

A White House official told NBC's First Read: "The deadline is today, but if people are in line, we will make sure they get insurance."

White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri said in an interview on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports that consumers need to make sure they're trying to get enrolled on Monday, otherwise the extension may not apply to them.

Does the extension apply to consumers in states that are running their own healthcare exchanges?

The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday that officials of California's exchange - Covered California - were still "working on developing a position."

The same sort of confusion exists in Connecticut, another state that is running its own exchange:

Rhode Island moved its deadline from December 23 to December 31.

According to NPR's Julie Rovner Maryland and Minnesota have also extended their enrollment deadlines.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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