In response to delays encountered in the implementation of the federally administered health exchange website, Healthcare.gov, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services formally issued regulations on December 12th extending the deadline for signing up via the website for health insurance that would take effect on January 1, 2014. The new deadline for federal exchange purchases for coverage effective the first day of 2014 is December 23, 2013. The administration also said it would consider moving the deadline even later under "exceptional circumstances." In addition, HHS announced that those purchasing through the federal exchange will have until Dec. 31 to pay their premium for coverage effective January 1, 2014.
In the interim rule released, HHS also urged (but not required) insurers to allow people who sign up after December 23rd to still get coverage at the first of the year.