Originally the federal government set a deadline of Dec. 15 for people to apply by if they wanted coverage by Jan. 1, 2016. However, they have extended that deadline to the 17th at 2:59 a.m. eastern standard time.

HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan said in a statement that the extension was due to an unprecedented demand. He also says, "Hundreds of thousands have already selected plans over the last two days....Our goal is to provide access to affordable coverage, and the additional 48 hours will give consumers an opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for January 1 coverage."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has deployed extra resources to help people still trying to enroll for coverage that will start Jan. 1. Their health care advisors are available at (888) 899-2968 and also has guidance online.

For people who don't need coverage to start Jan. 1, the open enrollment period goes through Jan. 31, 2016.