Healthcare Coverage Deadline Looming

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BRYAN, Texas For the many people without healthcare coverage, the deadline to get covered or get penalized is coming soon.

Those who haven't signed up for coverage by March 31, could face those financial penalties come next tax season.

Kristi LaTourneau with H&R Block in Bryan said the amounts the government will charge could add up fast.

"The minimum penalty is 95 dollars a person," said LeTourneau.

A family of five, for instance, could end up paying around $425. That, or one percent of their household income. Whichever is the greater amount.

If you want to sign up with the Healthcare Marketplace, but find yourself financially strapped, there are options.

LeTourneau said you can apply for a advance tax credit. It's basically a cash advance from the government.

"Let's say they got an insurance policy that was a little bit less than what their advanced credit was. Then they're going to end up paying that back. But if it was more, then it could potentially give them a bigger refund," said LeTourneau.

You may also qualify for cost sharing reductions, which could help you to get better coverage at a lower cost.

H&R Block offers free help for navigating the government-run Marketplace website. For more information, click on the links added to this story.