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White House grants extension on health law sign-up

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press
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This photo taken Oct. 25, 2013 shows Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius takes part on a panel to answer questions about the Affordable Care Act enrollment, in San Antonio. Misreading the health care law she is responsible for administering, Sebelius has wrongly asserted that the law required health insurance signups to start Oct. 1, whether the system was ready or not. In fact, the decision when to launch the system was hers. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration says it's granting a six-week extension until March 31 for Americans to sign up for coverage next year and avoid new tax penalties under the president's health care overhaul law.

Monday's move had been expected since White House spokesman Jay Carney promised quick action last week to resolve a "disconnect" in the implementation of the law. Technical problems continue to trouble the website that's supposed to be the main enrollment vehicle for people who don't get health care at work.

Under the new policy, people who sign up by the end of open enrollment season won't face a penalty.

Previously you had to sign up by the middle of February, so your coverage would take effect March 1.

The extension is for 2014 only.