Monday was the original deadline for Americans who wanted insurance coverage that started on January 1. But the deadline for signing up for insurance under the new healthcare law has effectively been extended through Christmas Eve in case of heavy demand on the government website.
A spokeswoman for the federal agency overseeing the Obama administration's health overhaul says the one-day grace period is being offered to accommodate people from different time zones and to deal with potential technical problems that could result from a last-minute rush of applicants.
For best results during open enrollment, it's recommended to use the HealthCare.gov website during mornings, evenings and weekends. There can be more of a wait time if you use the site in the middle of the afternoon. Another tip is it's best to use the best web browser for your computer's operating system.
After you create a Marketplace account on HealthCare.gov, you'll be asked to fill out and submit an online application. You can shop and enroll in a Marketplace Heath Plan if you're eligible.
The federal HealthCare.gov system serves 36 states. Some other states have also extended enrollment deadlines slightly.