By Elise Viebeck - 04/03/14 12:30 PM EDT
The final deadline for enrolling in the ObamaCare exchanges is April 15, according to the Obama administration.
People who have started but were unable to complete applications for private health coverage under ObamaCare will have nearly two weeks to complete their work and avoid a tax penalty.
The April 15 deadline was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
"For those in line on the 31st, we encourage consumers to finish the process as soon as possible," Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the Journal. "They must complete their enrollment by no later than the 15th for coverage this year."
The extension applies to people who attest that they faced technical hurdles to completing their application on time.
The administration has said it will not verify each case, leading some to complain that the later deadline was simply a bid to increase enrollment under the healthcare law.
The White House announced Tuesday that 7.1 million people had signed up as of March 31, a number expected to grow further as state-based exchanges send in their totals.
The figure will also increase as a result of the special enrollment period, which insurers were concerned would be open-ended and drive up the number of sick people who purchased plans.
People who sign up by April 15 will receive coverage that begins May 1.