Petersburg Pilot -


Obamacare deadline March 31


Local healthcare consumers face an imminent deadline.

After twice extending the deadline to sign up for a healthcare plan under the Patient Affordable Care Act – known colloquially as Obamacare – the date finally stuck at March 31, with little indication that officials will change it, according to various national news outlets.

Uninsured patients will thus face a penalty on their next tax return. Consumers who fail to enroll will face a penalty of $95 or one percent of their income, whichever is greater. Families must pay $47.50 per uninsured child with a maximum annual penalty of $285.

Consumers who make less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level are exempt. Exemptions also exist for Alaskan Natives.

Readers interested in registering for the healthcare plan can go to

After registering for the Health Insurance Marketplace, consumers can choose between plans in four different price ranges. The plans are grouped according to monthly premiums – the amount an insurance enrollee must pay per month – versus out-of-pocket expenses, or coinsurance.

After Monday’s deadline, the next opportunity to register won’t be until the next open enrollment period, slated for Nov. 15.


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