The Obama administration, amid criticism over the launch of the HealthCare.gov website, is tweaking the rules to ensure users have until the end of March to sign up for insurance and still avoid a fine.
The administration is not yet agreeing to demands by Republicans and some moderate Democrats to significantly delay the so-called individual mandate to buy health insurance.
But officials explained Wednesday that they are working to make sure the deadline is not any earlier than March 31.
On paper, March 31 was always the deadline. Analysts, though, said recently that because individuals have to sign up by the 15th of any given month to get coverage by the next month, many would have to sign up by mid-February to avoid the fine.
Officials say the administration is now preparing guidance to make sure individuals have until March 31.