But there's a catch: If you're among those scrambling to finish up, you'll have to do so by phone, Scullary said. That's because the Covered California website is not configured to take online applications for January policies past Monday's deadline.
Covered California announced the grace period Monday after it became clear that thousands of people were unable to get coverage because the website and call centers were overwhelmed.
The grace period applies to anyone who attempted to start an application by Monday, Scullary said.
Those who are unable to meet Friday's deadline will still have until March 31, 2014, to enroll in a health insurance plan without facing a tax penalty.