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WASHINGTON , D.C. -- The Obama administration says it s granting a six-week extension until March 31 for Americans to sign up for coverage next year and avoid new tax penalties under the president s health care overhaul law.

Monday s move had been expected since White House spokesman Jay Carney promised quick action last week to resolve a disconnect in the implementation of the law. Technical problems continue to trouble the website that s supposed to be the main enrollment vehicle for people who don t get health care at work.

Under the new policy, people who sign up by the end of open enrollment season won t face a penalty.

Previously you had to sign up by the middle of February, so your coverage would take effect March 1.

The extension is for 2014 only.

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