Health officials extended January 1 deadline

While open enrollment on Connect for Health Colorado runs through January 31, 2017, consumers must select a plan by the end of Thursday if they want coverage that starts on January 1. On top of that, the tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate interests - which take effect nearly immediately - will rob the health system of the money needed for any meaningful replacement legislation Congress might later consider. Over three days this week, more than 55,000 New Yorkers enrolled or renewed coverage through NY State of Health, according to the state.

Despite federal uncertainty about what will become of Obamacare after the election of Donald Trump as president, health insurance sign-ups on the exchanges have increased this year both in Colorado and nationally. Counihan said it's due to strong interest.

The new deadline is 11:59 p.m. But health officials said activity ramped up in the days leading up to the Dec. 15 deadline, with some 700,000 people selecting policies on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13. Healthcare.gov handles ACA insurance sales for the 38 states without their own exchanges.

The federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov, will remain open until January 31 for existing customers to shop around and swap plans.

Jim Wadleigh, chief executive officer of Access Health CT, thanked insurance carriers for helping to respond to the high demand and needs of customers.

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