HealthCare.gov moves sign up deadline to 11:59 PM PST Monday

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, the HealthCare.gov 2017 web site home page as seen in Washington. One by one, key health care industry groups are telling the incoming Republican administration and Congress that it’s not a good idea to repeal the 2010 health care law without clear plans to address the consequences. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is giving consumers a few extra days to sign up on HealthCare.gov in time for health insurance coverage to take effect Jan. 1.

The new deadline is 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Monday, Dec. 19, says Kevin Counihan, CEO of the federal health insurance markets.

The unexpected extension was announced after close of business Thursday. Counihan said it’s due to strong interest.

The old deadline was Thursday.

The Obama administration has set a goal of signing up 13.8 million people for 2017, a modest increase. So far enrollment is running about on par with last year, but the share of new customers is down.

Open enrollment ends Jan. 31.

President-elect Donald Trump and the GOP Congress have vowed to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.