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California Extends Initial Obamacare Enrollment Deadline

AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

The Obama administration has resisted any calls to change deadlines after the site's troubled launch -- though those calls, which came from Senate Democrats and others, were focused on the final enrollment deadline: March 31, 2013.

The March 31 deadline will remain in California, even after Thursday's announcement.

While California's marketplace hasn't had the same problems of, the move gives consumers more time to sign up for coverage that starts on Jan. 1.

“The consumer is front and foremost in Covered California’s policy decision process," Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said in a statement. "These new strategies will provide consumers a better enrollment experience, more flexibility in the selection of a plan and, most importantly, increased knowledge with which to make the best health coverage choice possible."

Covered California's decision to extend the deadline came at the same time that it declined to abide by the Obama administration's so-called "fix" to Obamacare, which would allow insurance companies to renew existing individual health care police for another year. Covered California is the only state that required insurers to cancel non-ACA-compliant individual health policies effective Dec. 31, if they wanted to sell new policies on the marketplace.