Deadline Extended Six Weeks for Individuals to Purchase Health Coverage

US-POLITICS-HEALTH-OBAMAThe Obama administration last week said it will give Americans who buy health insurance through the new online marketplaces an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before they incur a penalty, meaning that those who buy coverage through the exchange will have until March 31, 2014 to sign up for a plan.

Administration officials said the extended deadline is unrelated to the many technical problems that have emerged with the marketplace website (, but rather is designed to clear up a timing confusion about the 2010 law, which for the first time requires most Americans to buy health coverage or face a penalty.