(KTVI)-Monday, March 31, is the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare. The Obama administration has announced that the federal health insurance exchange has begun meeting enrollment goals, but there's still is a major push to convince people that the system for signing up, actually works.
More than six million people have now signed up for insurance through Healthcare.gov, but, under the law, everyone is supposed to be insured in some way by Monday at 11:59pm. That’s when open enrollment period for 2014 ends. Those without health insurance after that deadline face a fine of $95 or 1 percent of their income.
The fact that the program has reached the six-million enrollee benchmark is being touted as a victory by Washington, especially after the nightmare start for the program October 1st, 2013. You'll recall horrific problems with the website, which kept crashing and kicking people off.
Those problems, for the most part, have now been solved, but with the deadline to sign up upon us, people are being warned again about the possibility of long wait times on the site. But at the same time officials are touting its ease of use.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told reporters, "It's easy to sign up between now and Monday at midnight. Healthcare.gov or Cuidadodesalud.gov, the English and Spanish version of the website, is working very smoothly. Yesterday, in fact, we had one and half million visitors to the website and people were able to move through fairly quickly.
The deadline is for people who live where the federal government is running the sign-up website. States running their own exchanges set their own deadlines.
To sign up before the deadline, visit HealthCare.gov or you can call 1-800-318-2596 to sign up by phone.