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Obamacare 101: Why the real deadline is Feb. 15

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The uninsured have until March 31 to be covered before they have to pay a fine despite other deadlines and misconceptions that cloud the air about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The extra time is based on a provision in the law that allows Americans to be uninsured for up to three months without being penalized. This means, in order to be fully covered, individuals would need to sign up at the latest by Feb. 15 in order to be enrolled by March 1 as coverage starts on the first of the month.