The decision to continue a federal insurance pool for an additional month will mean 85,000 high-risk people will have health insurance through January. The Obama administration extended the program because of problems with the online health exchange that have prevented timely enrollment. The administration also is encouraging insurers to start coverage Jan. 1 even if people don't meet the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline and to make coverage retroactive to the beginning of 2014 for people who pay their premiums within a few days of Jan. 1.

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