Officials are giving consumers two more business days to sign up.

USA Today: Feds Extend Healthcare.Gov Deadline To Dec. 19, Citing Late Rush
Federal regulators Thursday night extended the midnight deadline for Affordable Care Act insurance by four days, as consumers fought to get through to call center operators and log onto to buy insurance that takes effect Jan. 1. “Nearly a million consumers have left their contact information to hold their place in line,” CEO Kevin Counihan said in a statement late Thursday. “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.” (O’Donnell, 12/16)

The Associated Press: HealthCare.Gov Moves Sign Up Deadline To 11:59 PM PST Monday
The unexpected extension was announced after close of business Thursday. Counihan said it’s due to strong interest. The old deadline was Thursday. The Obama administration has set a goal of signing up 13.8 million people for 2017, a modest increase. So far enrollment is running about on par with last year, but the share of new customers is down. (12/16)

The Washington Post: Health Insurance Enrollment Deadline Extended Till Monday
Federal health officials announced Thursday night that they have extended the deadline for consumers to sign up for Jan. 1 coverage through Affordable Care Act marketplaces, giving them until the end of Monday night to enroll. The announcement marked the second consecutive year that federal officials granted insurance-seekers a little extra time beyond the Dec. 15 deadline. (Goldstein, 12/15)

The Hill: Feds Extend ObamaCare Signup Deadline 
The Obama administration is again giving people more time to sign up for healthcare coverage for next year because of “extraordinary” demand, health officials announced late Thursday. “The final days heading into the December 15 deadline were some of the busiest we’ve experienced at,” the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wrote in a statement, without providing specific numbers. Customers will now have two extra days – until midnight on Monday, Dec. 19 – to buy coverage that will go into effect on Jan 1. (Ferris, 12/15)

Orlando Sentinel: Health Officials Extend Obamacare Deadline 
Health officials extended Obamacare’s Dec. 15 deadline by four days due to “extraordinary volume of consumers” visiting or calling, they announced Thursday evening. The new deadline for consumers who want their health coverage to kick in on Jan. 1 is Dec. 19, 11:59 p.m. PST. (Miller, 12/15)

The CT Mirror: CT Obamacare Sign-Up Deadline Extended To Saturday
The open enrollment period for individual-market health plans runs through Jan. 31, but people who sign up after Saturday won’t have coverage until Feb. 1 at the earliest. The deadline for coverage that starts Feb. 1 is Jan. 15; those who sign up between Jan. 15 and Jan. 31 will get coverage that begins March 1. (Levin Becker, 12/15)

Denver Post: Connect For Health Colorado Website Suffers Brief Outage As Coverage Deadline Looms 
High volume caused an hourlong outage on the Connect for Health Colorado website Thursday, the last day for people to sign up for plans through the state’s Obamacare exchange in order to have health care coverage that kicks in on Jan. 1. The outage began at about 7 a.m., said Luke Clarke, a spokesman for Connect for Health Colorado. The website was back up around 8 a.m., he said. (Ingold, 12/15)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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