The deadline has been extended to enroll for health insurance

This October 25, 2016 photo shows a woman looking at the Healthcare.gov internet site in Washington, DC. Americans will see Obamacare health insurance costs jump an average of 25 percent next year, adding fuel to the US political firestorm over the system that Republicans have repeatedly tried to overturn. The big increase will be seen in the 38 states with federally-managed health care exchanges, according to a report released late October 24, 2016 by the Department of Health and Human Services. / AFP / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner has alerted Pennsylvania consumers of the federal government’s decision to extend the deadline for purchasing health insurance that will take effect on Jan. 1.

Consumers will now have until 11:49 p.m. on December 19 to enroll in a health insurance plan.

“Pennsylvanians now have an additional three days to explore their options and select a plan from the federal marketplace at www.healthcare.gov,” said Commissioner Miller. “I applaud the federal government for giving consumers more time to make this important decision.”

Federal officials said the reason for this extension is because of the high demand to the Marketplace Call Center.

“I urge all consumers who did not select a plan by December 15 to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure that you and your family will have health insurance coverage come January 1,” said Commissioner Miller.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has resources available to help consumers understand what they need to consider when shopping for a plan. A printable shopper’s guide, and videos in multiple languages are available to help consumers looking for coverage.

In addition to these resources, the department recently announced a partnership with Consumers’ Checkbook on a website that allows consumers to compare on- and off-exchange plans available in their area. In some areas, consumers may find that off-exchange plans may be less expensive than on-exchange options, however, only on-exchange plans are eligible for financial assistance. The plan comparison tool¬†allows consumers to enter personal data to compare estimated yearly out-of-pocket costs, overall quality of plans, and doctor and prescription drug availability

Coverage purchased on or before December 19 will take effect January 1.

For more information on health insurance or to contact the Insurance Department’s Bureau of Consumer Services, click here¬† or call 1-877-881-6388.