Deadline nearing to purchase health insurance for 2014

Peconic Bay in Riverhead

As the deadline to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act nears, officials announced some leeway will be granted for those who begin the process by the end of the day March 31 — the original deadline. 

Americans who do not have health insurance for more than three months this year could be subject to a tax penalty for 2014. The extra time will allow people to avoid that penalty this year if they begin the process — which includes filling out an online application — by March 31.

“Open enrollment ends March 31. We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment — either online or over the phone,” Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters told the Associated press Wednesday morning.

It was not immediately clear when the deadline for those who had started the process might be.

Residents can purchase coverage online through the New York State of Health marketplace.

As of March 24, there were 1,055,931 New Yorkers who had completed the application, while more than 700,000 had fully enrolled, according to the NYS marketplace website.

The law allows a tax penalty of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, or 1 percent of a family income, whichever is higher.

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