You'll have to get coverage by Valentine's Day or thereabouts to avoid penalties for being uninsured, the Obama administration confirmed Wednesday.
That's about six weeks earlier than a Mar. 31 deadline often cited previously.
The explanation: health insurance coverage typically starts on the first day of a given month, and it takes up to 15 days to process applications.
You still have to be covered by Mar. 31 to avoid the new penalties for remaining uninsured. But to successfully accomplish that you have to send in your application by the middle of February. Coverage would then start on Mar. 1.
The Jackson Hewitt tax preparation company first pointed out the wrinkle with the health care law's least popular requirement.
An administration official confirmed it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.