BALTIMORE (WJZ)– People in Maryland looking to enroll in the Affordable Care Act will have some extra time to do so.

Open enrollment through Maryland Health Connection has been extended until Friday, December 22. The plan for the health care coverage would begin on January 1.

People can apply at MarylandHealthConnection.gov or through the “Enroll MHC” mobile app. The app is free in the App store. Marylanders can also enroll by calling the toll-free number 1-855-642-8572.

Initially, people in Maryland had until December 15 to enroll in the Affordable Care Act after the Trump administration adopted a shortened 45-day enrollment period on the federal exchange used by most states. However, according media partners at The Baltimore Sun, Maryland operates its own online marketplace for those who do not get insurance through their jobs. As a result, the state was free to extend the deadline.

This week, the call center will be open this week through Friday from 8 a.m., to 10 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The call center will also be open on Sunday, December 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Next, week the call center will be open Monday, December 18 through Friday, December 22 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m..

Nearly 140,00 people have enrolled in private health plans compared to 130,000 people at this point last year. More have also signed up directly with insurers and another 290,000 are enrolled in Medicaid.

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