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Maryland health exchange to allow consumers to finish enrollments after Dec. 15 deadline

The Maryland health exchange is responding to a last-minute spike in enrollment in the final week of this year’s sign-up period by allowing people who are “in line” to complete their enrollment after the Dec. 15 deadline.

The state has made the same move in years past to accommodate the last-minute rush, and the federal exchange has a similar plan this year. The plans are for policies that begin Jan. 1.

The exchanges, created under the Affordable Care Act, help millions around the country who do not get health insurance through work to buy coverage. About 150,000 people in Maryland bought a plan for this year.

State exchange officials reported that more than 1,000 people signed up for plans on Monday and on Tuesday, up about 20 percent from the end of last week. Those who start enrolling this week will be allowed to complete the process, likely in the first couple of days next week, if needed.

The exchange also has extended call center hours this week. Consumers can call 1-855-642-8572 Wednesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The website to enroll is

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