Confused about deadlines? There's a good reason. They keep changing. Here's a tally:

Deadline to sign up for insurance on the exchange marketplace originally was Dec. 15. That was extended until Monday. Consumers now have through Tuesday to sign up at www.healthcare.gov.

On Thursday, the administration announced that people whose individual-market policies had been canceled would be exempt from penalties scheduled to begin next year for not buying insurance, and would also be allowed to enroll in catastrophic plans that previously had been open only to people under 30 or to some facing economic hardship.

States and insurance companies earlier were urged to allow those whose plans were canceled to remain on them through 2014, although it was not clear how many actually have that option. New Jersey law already allows early renewal for a year.

Insurers were asked to cover people retroactive to Jan. 1 if they missed the Dec. 31 payment deadline. The industry's largest trade group said its members would accept payment till Jan. 10.

The government this month also announced a one-month extension of what had been a stopgap program, due to expire Dec. 31, for people who cannot get insurance due to preexisting illness.

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