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Deadline extended to sign up for Jan. 1 Obamacare coverage

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Those looking to have Obamacare coverage starting Jan. 1 have a few more days to enroll.

The deadline to enroll through the federal exchange is now 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Monday, Dec. 19. Federal health officials said Thursday they pushed back the deadline from Dec. 15 after experiencing heavy volume in recent days.

“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 January 1 coverage,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, which handles sign-ups for 39 states. “Nearly a million consumers have left their contact information to hold their place in line.”

Just over 4 million people signed up for coverage on the federal exchange through Dec. 10. But health officials said activity ramped up in the days leading up to the Dec. 15 deadline. Some 700,000 people selected policies on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13.

Some states that run their own exchanges have also pushed back their enrollment deadlines.

Open enrollment, which began Nov. 1, runs through Jan. 31. The deadline to sign up for Jan. 1 coverage was extended last year, as well.

President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to repeal Obamacare has not deterred people from signing up for policies on the exchanges.