Residents rush to sign up for health coverage

WASHINGTON (AP) - People who need health insurance are facing a deadline not unlike the annual rush to file tax returns by April 15.

Monday is the last day for the uninsured to enroll in a health plan without paying an IRS penalty under the federal health care overhaul.

The District of Columbia's health exchange is making a push to sign people up, or at least begin the process. The district joined the Obama administration and several other states in offering a grace period into April for people who start applications but don't finish them by midnight.

The city reported an uptick both in enrollment and traffic to its call center in the days ahead of the deadline.

The exchange will be hosting events throughout the city on Monday to sign people up.


Uninsured Maryland residents are also facing a deadline to enroll in a health care plan in a state that still has serious computer problems with its online health exchange.

The deadline for enrollment without paying an IRS penalty under the federal health care overhaul is midnight Monday.

People can get help enrolling in person at locations around the state. The Maryland Health Connection website has a list of places around the state.

If people have tried to enroll but have had difficulties, they can call a hotline to let the exchange know they have tried. Everyone who calls by Monday's deadline is supposed to get a call and assistance for coverage that begins May 1.

The hotline is 1-800-396-1961.