Health insurance deadline is quickly approaching

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COLUMBIA - As the deadline to sign up for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace by the new year approaches Monday, insurance firms are bracing for several last minute sign ups.

Robin Corderman, consumer assistance program manager at Primaris, said the looming deadline has created confusion for many of her clients.

"A lot of people that I've talked to over the last week seem to be under the impression that today [Monday] was the final day to get a plan at all," Corderman said.

Those who meet Monday's deadline (2 a.m. Tuesday, Central time) will be covered by January 1.

Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers who do not have any health care plan will have to pay a fine.

"If you don't have health insurance or you don't have an exemption, you will pay a penalty," Corderman said. "The penalty will grow larger every year. Right now this coming year, it's going to be 2 percent of household income or $325 a person, which ever is larger." 

The final day to sign up for a 2015 plan is February 15.