White House Extends Healthcare Enrollment Deadline (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

December 23, 2013 Updated Dec 23, 2013 at 6:56 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - For those who still need to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, last minute shopping takes on a whole new meaning this Christmas.

The deadline was Monday for people to sign up, but Monday afternoon the White House extended that deadline to Tuesday, December 24.

By meeting the December 24 enrollment deadline consumers ensure they will have coverage starting January 1, 2014. However, the deadline to sign up without paying the penalty is still the end of March.

Neighborhood Health Clinics has people certified by the federal government to help people through the enrollment process. They are the only facility in northeast Indiana with this certification.

Officials there say the main reason why so many people are left trying to sign up at the last minute is because of all the problems with the website, healthcare.gov.

Although it's working much better now, a few weeks ago the problems would prevent some people from being able to sign up altogether.

"Many people need that coverage as of January first because other plans that they've had or whatever ended, or because they have health issues that they need to get coverage as soon as they can," said Mary Haupert, President, CEO, Neighborhood Health Clinics.

Tuesday Neighborhood Health Clinics is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. They are located at 1717 South Calhoun Street.

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