Monday is the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. So far, about 4 out of every 5 people enrolling have qualified for tax credits to reduce the cost of their premiums.
Here's what you need to know:
-- The deadline is Mar. 31 at midnight EDT for the states where the federal government is running the sign-up website; states running their own exchanges set their own deadlines.
-- You can sign up online by going to HealthCare.gov or your state insurance exchange. If you don't know what your state marketplace is called, HealthCare.gov will direct you.
--You can call 1-800-318-2596 to sign up by phone or get help from an enrollment specialist.
--Check online for sign-up centers that may be open locally, offering in-person assistance.
--If you started an application by Monday but didn't finish, perhaps because of errors, missing information or website glitches, you can take advantage of a grace period. The government says it will accept paper applications until April 7 and take as much time as necessary to handle unfinished cases on HealthCare.gov.
--Be prepared for the possibility of long wait times.
You can generally buy Marketplace health insurance only during the annual Open Enrollment period. Upcoming dates to know:
March 31, 2014: 2014 Open Enrollment ends
November 15, 2014: 2015 Open Enrollment starts
February 15, 2015: 2015 Open Enrollment ends
To buy Marketplace insurance outside Open Enrollment, you must qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a job.