Because people love nothing more than shopping on Christmas Eve, the Obama administration today extended by 24 hours the deadline to sign up for a health care plan that would kick in on the first of the year, CNN Money reports. The move is such a last-minute surprise that when CNN called insurance giant Aetna, a spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of the extension. A spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services explained that they were "anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones."
The original deadline was actually a week ago, the AP points out, but it was pushed back amidst the site's glitches. "It's just nonstop now. Everybody knows about it. Everybody wants it," a Florida enrollment counselor said. But if you miss the deadline don't panic; the government is trying to talk insurers into covering even the true procrastinators who sign up in the middle of January as though they'd been signed up since New Year's, and even if those companies refuse, you have until March 31 to sign up before facing a penalty.