Today is the final day to sign up for health insurance in the federal exchange, marking an end to a 15-day grace period the Obama administration allowed to help usher more applicants into the program.
According to the White House, more than 7.5 million people have signed up for the exchanges, with 400,000 applications coming in after the the official deadline of March 31.
The administration added the extra days to help those who experienced delays because of technical problems in creating an account or signing up for a plan, although the healthcare.gov website also offers the extended time for those who “couldn’t start or continue” the application process. People who want to enroll but didn’t start an application can call a “marketplace call center” and tell the operator they tried but failed to start an application. People who sign up by today will have coverage beginning May 1. Those who still do not have insurance must pay a $95 fee or 1 percent of their income, whichever is higher.