Monday is the deadline to sign up for private health insurance in the new online markets created by President Barack Obama’s health care law. 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 march 31 at midnight EDT for the states where the federal government is running the sign-up website, including Florida; states running their own exchanges set their own deadlines.
* You can sign up online by going to the website or your state insurance exchange. If you don’t know what your state marketplace is called, the website 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.
* Be prepared for the possibility of long wait times.