SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The deadline for signing up for health insurance through Covered California that begins Jan. 1 has been extended because of high demand, Covered California officials said.

The deadline, initially set for Tuesday, is now the end of the day on Thursday, according to Covered California officials.

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People can enroll online until midnight, call (800) 300-1506 until 8 p.m. tonight and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday or visit one of many Bay Area enrollment locations, Covered California officials said.

People can find a location by zip code at http://www.CoveredCA.com/get-help/local. The website to enroll is http://www.CoveredCA.com.

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The number of people enrolling in the last few days spiked and by the end of the day Tuesday, enrollments this year exceeded last year’s number, according to Covered California officials.

Certified enrollers are reporting that they are still processing thousands of applications and the extra time will help ensure consumers are covered for all of 2016, according to Covered California officials.

Signs are posted outside hundreds of locations where consumers can enroll confidentially and for free in multiple languages, according to Covered California officials.

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People who enroll after Thursday will have coverage that starts in February or March if they enroll by Jan. 31.