The Obama administration quietly extended until Christmas Eve the deadline to sign up for Obamacare coverage starting Jan. 1.
"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," Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said.
The move, first reported by the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, on Monday gives consumers an extra 24 hours to sign up for coverage which kicks in at the start of 2014, just the latest extension of an Obamacare deadline.
The Post cited multiple sources who said that over the weekend contractors and government officials working on the problem-ridden healthcare.gov website made a software change that allows consumers to receive coverage on Jan. 1 as long as they sign up by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 24.
The White House never announced the reported change. And the original deadline for such insurance plans was Dec. 15.
Open enrollment in Obamacare ends on March 31, at which point individuals will have to pay a fine if they haven’t purchased health insurance. However, the administration recently granted exemptions to those had their insurance plans canceled because of Obamacare standards.