healthcare

Covered California Enrollment Deadline Is Midnight Monday

Nothing will change for 2017, so don't risk paying that fine and not having health insurance

The deadline for enrolling in a health insurance plan through Covered California has been extended again to Monday at midnight.

Last week, Covered California announced it had extended its first deadline to Saturday for health coverage starting Jan. 1. It was pushed back yet again to align with the midnight Monday deadline the federal government announced for states that use the healthcare.gov exchange, NBC4's media partner KPCC reports.

You can enroll at CoveredCA.com. For help with the application process call 800-300-1506.

For local, in-person help, visit Covered California's local help page by clicking here.

The deadline extensions were announced as political uncertainty remains about the Affordable Care Act's future.

The big question we're hearing from people is if Obamacare might be repealed, do you still have to sign up for it?

Until the law is actually changed, the answer is yes.

Last week, Covered California reported more than 25,000 people had enrolled in a healthcare plan through the state over the course of two days. Many people have questions about whether Obamacare will survive Congress and a Trump presidency that campaigned on repealing Obamacare.

Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, says no matter what the future holds, people should comply with the law now and let the politics on the issue play out.

"There's a lot of what if's that could happen in Washington, but what isn't a what if is you end up in the emergency room in January without health insurance coverage and you could walk out with a $100,000 debt," Lee said. "That's the reality people will face without health insurance."

Because it is the law, you will be fined up to $700 per person and $2,000 per household if you fail to purchase insurance by the deadline.

Bottom line: Nothing will change for 2017, so don't risk paying that fine and not having insurance.

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