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Monday last day to register for Obamacare

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 31 2014 04:56:24 PM CDT

Monday is the last day to register for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act before penalties become reality.

Monday is the last day to register for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act before penalties become reality.

Open enrollment seems to be ending the same way it began with lots of frustrations.

The Affordable Care Act website was down earlier today and then stopped accepting registrations. It's now back up and running.

As long at you're in the Obamacare system by midnight Monday, you have until April 15 to complete the sign up process, but after that...

"If you do not have coverage, you will not be able to purchase it again until next year unless you qualify for a special enrollment period throughout the rest of this year," said Michael Hitcho, an insurance agent in Bethlehem.

Hitch, who has been busy helping people sign up for coverage, said that special enrollment applies only to people who lose or change jobs, get married or divorced or who lose coverage.

Hitcho said everyone else who is not covered by health insurance will be fined.

"The IRS will tax you an additional penalty next year -- $95 for a single adult, $40.57 per child, anywhere from $280 up to one percent of your income, whichever is greater," said Hitcho.

Hitcho said, over time, those fines, known as the "individual shared responsibility payment," increase and could be deducted from tax refunds, but there are exemptions to the penalty, including hardships like being in foreclosure orĀ  bankruptcy.

Whatever coverage you end up with, Hitcho said it's important to know exactly what it covers. You can check out your option by going to healthcare.gov or talk to someone locally.

"By using a local insurance broker, someone who specializes in insurance in the area, it makes that purchase a lot easier," said Hitcho.

If you have problems signing up online, print out the error messages the system is giving you and keep trying.