Rush is on to beat Obamacare March 31 deadline

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The clock is ticking down to the deadline for health insurance sign-ups under the Affordable Care Act.

Americans that need health insurance should sign up by March 31 or face a possible tax penalty.

That's one reason why Laurie Zimmerman is a Genesis Health System nurse on a mission.

She's serving as an insurance navigator in Davenport on Tuesday. She's working to sign up folks for health insurance before the deadline.

"Just to make them feel they chose the right plan, and that they had help making the decision," she said.

Tyler O'Donnell, 33, wants to sign up in time.

"I thought it would be helpful to actually be with a navigator to guide me through the process," he said.

After some checking, the self-insured painter found a better deal under the Affordable Care Act.

"I've been paying for my own insurance for several years now. I think the new policy is actually going to be a little bit cheaper and probably a little better coverage," he said.

Enrolling now provides coverage and prevents possible tax penalties for not signing up.

"If you can't afford to have health insurance, or claim that you can't, you definitely can't afford to not have health insurance," said Austin Bird, Genesis Health System.

Depending on circumstances, it's cheaper to buy insurance than to pay the penalty. But leave yourself plenty of time to sign up online at or in person.

Genesis and other providers will be providing free sign-ups. Check the website,, for the latest sessions with navigators.

It can take up to 90 minutes to complete the process. After March 31, most applicants must wait until November to enroll.

Tyler O'Donnell is insured and ready to go.

"Absolutely," he concluded.

Beating the deadline with a new health insurance policy.

Get more of our coverage of the Affordable Care Act - click here.