If you don’t have health insurance, Sunday, Jan. 31, is the last day to sign up and avoid a $695 tax penalty.

Under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, every American must have health insurance or pay a penalty with their taxes.

You can apply for health insurance online through Covered California, which administers the health insurance exchange in California.

The penalty if you don’t have insurance is 2.5 percent of your household income, or $695 per adult, whichever is higher. You’ll have to pay it when you file your tax return in 2017.

Buying basic “bronze” level insurance will cost a single 25-year-old between $180 and $200 a month. It might cost less to pay the penalty, but you wouldn’t be covered in case of accident or illness and could face out-of-pocket costs in the tens of thousands of dollars or more.

The federal government estimates 13 million Americans will sign up for insurance through Covered California and other exchanges by the end of the day Sunday.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.