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Obamacare Deadline: Things to Know

From sitting down "Between Two Ferns," to enlisting the support of an NBA All-Star, you've probably heard President Obama talking about health care a lot recently. That's because a big deadline is approaching.
WASHINGTON, DC -- From sitting down "Between Two Ferns," to enlisting the support of an NBA All-Star, you've probably heard President Obama talking about health care a lot recently. That's because a big deadline is approaching.

The White House is making a full-court press, calling in the help of a basketball great - "I'm Lebron James, and I know how important it is to take care of yourself, and your family." - to get Americans signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, before March 31st.

Why the March Madness? March 31st is the deadline to purchase a policy for 2014.

After that date, most Americans won't be able to sign up for a private plan until open enrollment begins again in November. There are some exceptions, like if you experience a major event like a divorce or job loss.

Unlike previous deadlines, pushed back largely due to technical difficulties with the enrollment website healthcare.gov, it's unlikely this one will budge.

But if you already receive Medicare or get your health insurance through your employer, you don't have to do anything.

Most enrolled in plans under the Affordable Care Act will have a payment due on April 25th, with coverage to start on May 1.

And after much discussion, those with plans that don't comply with the new rules of the Affordable Care Act, can keep those plans until 2016.

Those who aren't covered after March 31st will pay a penalty on next year's tax return -- $95 per adult plus $47.50 for every uninsured child under age 18, or one percent of income, whichever is higher.


(Karin Caifa for CNN's Consumer Watch)


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