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If you want to buy insurance from the federal marketplace but either couldn't be bothered to get it or were unable to get the site to work by the March 31 (a.k.a. next week) deadline, then there is good news: you have more time!

According to the Washington Post, all you have to do to is check a blue box that says you tried to enroll before the deadline. Even if you didn't, you can still just say you did. You'll have until mid-April to check the box, and then an unknown amount of time to actually sign up after that. Could be a week. Could be a year! We don't know yet.

Also: "This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth," the Post reports/hints.

This allows officials to claim that this is not another deadline extension, but a "special enrollment period." It also allows them to ensure that any difficulties resulting from a last-minute surge in traffic will not shut anyone out of the care he or she wants.

This only applies to people living in states that use the federal exchanges; state-run exchanges have their own rules. Several will be granting similar extensions. And members of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program were already given a one-month extension earlier this month.

It's only fair that individual enrollees get soft deadlines/special enrollment periods; employers have gotten plenty.


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