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(WREG-TV) The Obama administration announced a six-week extension (until March 31st) for Americans to sign up for healthcare without penalties.

As the Atlantic Wire reported, “The one-time extension will apply to 2014 only, and is being framed by the administration as a resolution to an existing ‘disconnect,’ rather than as an extension.”

Before the extension, the practical enrollment deadline was the middle of February, which would ensure coverage began March 1st; however, the official enrollment period was from October 1st through March 31st.

“The problem was that health insurance coverage typically starts on the first day of a given month, and it takes up to 15 days to process applications. So somebody signing up March 16 — well within the open enrollment period — wouldn’t get coverage until April 1, thereby risking a penalty for being uninsured part of the year,” the AP reports.

The administration has faced heavy criticism lately for the problems Americans are having signing up for insurance from the federal healthcare market, with as arguably the most notable example.

Health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be in Memphis this Friday.

Sebelius will be at the main library on Poplar Friday to talk about the Affordable Care Act and the website.

Before that, she will testify Wednesday at a committee hearing about the website troubles.