March 31st is the open enrollment deadline for health insurance

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- If you haven’t signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, time is running out.

March 31 is the last day to sign up.

Gundersen Health System executive director of external affairs Michael Richards said, if you don’t it could cost you.

“It’s important for people to go online, shop around and see what kind of plans are available in their area,” said Richards.

Richards says the penalty is $95 per adult, $47.50 cents per child under 18, up to $285 for a family or one percent of your income, whichever is greater.

“There are some people that will wait until the last minute until deadline. So we saw a jump in enrollment right before January 1st, so we expect to see some more people who are going to be purchasing insurance by the final deadline,” said Richards.

Richards said anyone who doesn’t have health insurance or doesn’t have insurance that meets the minimum requirements will have to register on

He also said the time it takes to sign up for a plan varies.

“We’re seeing it can take anywhere from 15 minutes, it can take anywhere from two hours. It just depends on how many questions you have, and how comfortable you feel with insurance,” said Richards.

If you enroll by March 31, your health insurance coverage will start May 1.

If you don’t sign up for health insurance by March 31, the next open enrollment period starts November 15.

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