March 31st is the last day to get health care or face a penalty - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

March 31st is the last day to get health care or face a penalty


(NBC) - Monday is the deadline to sign up for health insurance or face a tax penalty.

The Obama Administration announced this week it reached its goal - six million enrolled, despite early problems with the federal government's website.

To underscore how important the Obama Administration thinks this is, the President held a conference call from Italy encouraging health navigators to make a big push this weekend. They still need more young people to make this work.

The government says six million people have signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. "We're seeing an increase, particularly in the past couple weeks, of people under 35 enrolling," said Kevin Counihan, Access Health CT.

But not as many as insurers need to balance the cost of covering older, sicker Americans.

So far, a 25% is under 35. The government's goal was 38%.

Some are considering whether to just pay the penalty. "$95, okay, but then if it goes to 1 percent, who knows," Maryanne Sobolewski, who decided to sign up for health care.

Now the administration says people who start - but don't finish by Monday's deadline - won't be penalized. "The dates are the dates, and the law is the law. The President doesn't have the ability to change the law whenever he wants," said House Speaker John Boehner, (R) Ohio.

"Delay can be good but at some point and time you've got to pull the trigger and get this thing going," said Rep. James Clyburn, (D) South Carolina.

"We find that a lot of folks like to begin the process, check out their options, talk to their family and then come back and complete it," said Ann Filipic from Get Covered America.

"I think that will actually not solve the problem but make it worse because now you're going to say, 'Well I guess I don't really have to hit it this weekend,'" said John Graham from the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Prices vary but many applicants are getting subsidies - so the government pays part of their premium.

Tracie Potts, NBC News.

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