UPDATE: Last-Minute Insurance Shoppers Given One-Day Grace Period

CHICAGO (AP) - Monday's deadline for signing up for insurance under the new health care law has effectively been extended through Tuesday in case of heavy demand on the government website.

Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the federal agency overseeing the Obama administration's health overhaul, says the grace period is being offered to accommodate people from different time zones and to deal with potential technical problems that could result from a last-minute rush of applicants.

Monday was the deadline for Americans who wanted coverage that started on Jan. 1.

The federal HealthCare.gov system serves 36 states. Some other states have also extended enrollment deadlines slightly.


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(NBC News) Today marks another Obamacare deadline - it's the final day for most Americans without healthcare to sign up for coverage starting January first.

The administration says the site can handle the last minute demand, and to help, they've brought on hundreds of new people to work in call centers, addressing any problems that come up.

Early this morning the healthcare.gov website was warning users high demand could cause some delays.

Consumers calling in for coverage have reported a nearly two hour wait, at times.

Many others are finding success, like Oliver Mitchell who lives in Maryland. "I got a call yesterday saying I was approved," said Maryland Resident, Oliver Mitchell.

For the hundreds of thousands of Americans who's insurance policies were canceled. Today is not a deadline: they can now opt out of coverage in 2014 without penalty.

Analysts worry the ongoing changes are impacting the law's credibility. "Trust is a lot easier to establish than it is to recover once you've lost it. And that's something they're going to have to work on," said Republican Strategist, Ana Navarro

Lawmakers are continuing the debate. "Obamacare right now causes people to spend more money, have less choice, have a higher deductible, and have less freedom," said Senator Tom Coburn, (R) Oklahoma.

"The bottom line is there are a lot of good things in Obamacare that people like. And the more people see that, the more positive it's going to be," said Senator Chuck Schumer, (D) New York.

Already more than one million people and counting have signed up for healthcare. "This is filling a real need in the society," said the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne.

And analysts believe that need is what will ultimately save this law.


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