Is Healthcare.gov Ready For Last-Minute Shoppers?

For millions of Americans, Dec. 23 is the last day to sign up for individual health plans to be assured of coverage Jan 1. That's the case in all 36 states that use the federal website healthcare-dot-gov.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Before getting to next year, the administration has to get through this year, And today, the administration tries to deal with a kind of Christmas rush. For millions of Americans, this day, December 23rd, is the last day to sign up for individual health care plans and be assured of insurance coverage January 1st.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That's the case in all 36 states that use the federal website HealthCare.gov, and the recent trouble with that website has left the question of whether the system is ready for last-minute shoppers today.

INSKEEP: Some states with their own systems have deadlines that already passed. But if you do not get coverage in time for January 1st, there is still time to get covered.

GREENE: People can avoid a tax penalty in 2014 so long as they're signed up by March. Now, if you have questions about the Affordable Care Act, try our website, where you can send your queries to our team waiting to give you answers. The address is NPR.org/ACA.

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