Wednesday, September 3, 2014 · 3:03 a.m.
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Today is the last official day to sign up for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

Under the law, most everyone is required to have a health insurance plan that meets the federal government's standards.

Anyone who doesn't is subject to a monetary penalty, although some industry experts have said that the penalty isn't enough to discourage people from ignoring the new mandate. 

There is some wiggle room on today's deadline. Anyone who tries to sign up by 11:59 p.m. and encounters some kind of difficulty will be given more time to sign up. 

Here's a list of other reasons that people can get more time to sign up. 

President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, will provide access to health care coverage to 30 million people. Last summer, the Supreme Court ruled that the core of the health care reform act was constitutional.

Some of the act's requirements have already been implemented, and others will continue to be rolled out in coming years.

It includes provisions such as preventing insurers from denying benefits based on pre-existing conditions.

It allows people to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26.

It requires coverage to include a free annual wellness visit, among an array of other benefits. 

Click here to read about a local family who recently signed up for a plan.

David Yoder, co-founder of American Exchange, said that each person should find out what coverage under the Affordable Care Act would mean for them specifically. 

The cost of health insurance and eligibility for tax credits through the new federal marketplaces vary from person to person depending on age, household size and income.

So generalizations about whether coverage would cost more or less don't really work, he has said. 

Individuals can sign up via Healthcare.gov but get help locally picking a plan. 

Chattanooga has some of the lowest premiums in the country for the individual market, Yoder said. Click here to read about that from Kaiser Health News. 

Click here for more information or to apply online for coverage and here for more information from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which has a site to help educate consumers. 

Click here for more information from American Exchange, which is a Chattanooga-based company that signs people up for the Affordable Care Act for free.   

Disclaimer: American Exchange is affiliated with Lamp Post Group, a company that also has an affiliation with Nooga.com. Editorial decisions for this publication are made independently of Lamp Post and American Exchange.

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