(Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama is seeking to give consumers more time and options to enroll in Affordable Care Act health plans, delaying an application deadline and allowing insurers in three states to sign up customers directly.

Consumers can now sign up for health coverage as late as Dec. 23, for policies that would begin Jan. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said yesterday. Previously, people needed to enroll by Dec. 15 for coverage effective at the start of the year. Customers in Texas, Ohio and Florida can bypass the U.S. website and enroll directly with insurers, the agency said in a blog post.

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