This Sunday is the deadline to register for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Those who miss the January 31, 2016 deadline will not be able to enroll in a government-backed health insurance plan this year unless they qualify under special enrollment period guidelines.

Special enrollment periods include the period of up to sixty days after certain life-changing events or loss of other health coverage.  As defined by the plan life-changing events may include things like marriage or the birth of a child.

One of the changes made to the federal health insurance marketplace is that these health plans can no longer limit or deny benefits to children younger than the age of nineteen who have a pre-existing medical condition.

Americans can register many ways:

  • Via Telephone by calling: (800) 318.2596
  • Online at: healthcare.gov
  • In Person at a local public services agency (call ahead to make certain that there will be someone to help you)
  • By Mail

Links to all of the information is available at healthcare.gov.

The website lists available resources as well as answers to questions about who is eligible and exactly what services are offered.  The site is run by the federal government so many individuals, e.g. those in New York, will be redirected to the state's individual marketplace website as coverage and programs may differ from state to state.

Enrollment or policy changes that are made between January 16 and January 31, 2016 should take effect on March 1, 2016.