Last-minute insurance shoppers given 1-day grace period


CHICAGO — Today'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.

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

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

Get Covered Northwest Ohio is holding a health insurance sign-up event from noon to 7 p.m. today at the Main Library in downtown Toledo.

“Everybody is waiting until the deadline, and we are prepared for it. Every one of our navigators will be there, and we will be ready to handle a large volume of people,” said Brad Clark, project director of the Neighborhood Health Association's navigator program.

The agency’s 16 trained health-care navigators will talk to people on a first-come, first-served basis in the Huntington Room of the library and help them enroll in an insurance plan in the federal marketplace.