March 31 may be a significant - and very expensive - date in your life. Don't know why? That is not unusual. Tens of millions of Americans do not, according to public opinion polls.
By the end of this month, many people are required to be signed up for Obamacare health insurance. Failure to do so means paying a tax intended to punish those who do not go along with the president's program.
At minimum, that tax is $95 per person in your family. That is the number supporters of Obamacare prefer to use, but the tax actually is $95 or 1 percent of your income - whichever is higher. Millions of people who fail to comply with the Obamacare deadline will be paying more than $95.
What about all those delays Obama has approved? Good question. Big companies and smaller ones that provide insurance for employees do not have to meet the March 31 deadline. Neither do hundreds of the president's cronies, including some of the very labor unions that pushed for enactment of Obamacare.
But you, if you are a private citizen who buys your own health insurance, had better be in compliance by March 31.
Thinking that you may bide your time, pay the penalty for a few weeks, then sign up? Forget it. If you miss the March 31 deadline, your next opportunity to enroll will be Nov. 15 - and your coverage will not begin until 2015.
So what do you do if you are required to have Obamacare insurance by March 31? For residents of New York state, try going to the nystateofhealth.ny.gov website for guidance.