Monday is the deadline to sign up for health law

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Monday is the deadline to sign up for private health insurance in the new online markets created by President Barack Obama's health care law. So far, about 4 out of every 5 people enrolling have qualified for tax credits to reduce the cost of their premiums.

Here's what you need to know:

  • The deadline is March 31 at midnight EDT for the states, including Pennsylvania, where the federal government is running the sign-up website. States running their own exchanges set their own deadlines.
  • You can sign up online by going to HealthCare.gov or your state insurance exchange. If you don't know what your state marketplace is called, HealthCare.gov will direct you.
  • You can call 1-800-318-2596 to sign up by phone or get help from an enrollment specialist.
  • Check online for sign-up centers that may be open locally, offering in-person assistance.
  • If you started an application by Monday but didn't finish, perhaps because of errors, missing information or website glitches, you can take advantage of a grace period. The government says it will accept paper applications until April 7 and take as much time as necessary to handle unfinished cases on HealthCare.gov.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of long wait times.

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