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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Reviewed by Lisa Zamosky

WebMD Health News

Top Last-Minute 'Obamacare' Questions

March 27, 2014 -- If you want health insurance coverage this year, the last chance for most people to sign up is March 31. Sign up through the federal Marketplace, and you'll be given extra time to enroll -- as long as you start the process on by March 31, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

The only way you can enroll later in the year is if you have a “life event,” such as losing your job, moving, having a baby, or getting married. It may qualify you for a special enrollment period.

To help readers in the final days of 2014 open enrollment, WebMD hosted a live chat online to answer their questions about the Affordable Care Act.

While our experts answered questions on a range of subjects, the seven topics below came up most often.

Go to WebMD Answers to ask a question or search for more answers.

1. If I am on my spouse’s insurance through work, do I need to buy new insurance through "Obamacare"?

No. If you have insurance through an employer -- yours or your spouse’s -- you don't need to buy new insurance. You are covered. That’s also true if you have Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare.

2. How can I get dental insurance?

Dental coverage for children, but not adults, is one of the law’s essential health benefits that insurers must provide. If you want a plan for yourself, you can shop on sites like Delta Dental or general health insurance sites such as GetInsured or eHealth.

3. How much will insurance cost vs. paying the penalty?

The penalty for not having health insurance will be $95 per adult or 1% of your annual taxable household income, whichever is larger. The penalty will be due at tax time in 2015. Depending on your income, it may be cheaper to pay the penalty. Keep in mind that without insurance, you will have to pay for all your medical expenses if you need health care.

You can look at to find out how much your premiums would be based on your income, age, and where you live. You can also find out whether or not you qualify for tax credits or Medicaid.

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