The deadline to apply for the federal Affordable Care Act is March 31.

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Justine Ceserano, state director of Enroll America with the "Get Covered America" campaign, said New Jersey has 900,000 uninsured residents who are potentially eligible for enrollment.  As of March 1, 74,000 residents had selected a plan.

State officials hope New Jersey has 96,000 people registered by the end of this month.

New Jerseyans who miss the deadline will have to wait until the next enrollment period opens on Nov. 15, but there are some exceptions.  "If they have some life-altering events, such as a loss of a job, a divorce, a marriage or the addition of a child to their family," Ceserano said.

Officials with the "Get Covered America" campaign are redoubling efforts and crisscrossing the state to inform as many New Jerseyans as possible before the deadline.

"We encourage them to go to the getcoveredamerica.org website (where) they can find resources where they'll be able to receive in person assistance with an application," Ceserano said.

Residents can also call 1-800-318-2596, a 24 hour hotline that's staffed by live people, for help with enrollment.  "There are over 150 languages that are available for help in enrolling and discussing their options, or they can go onto healthcare.gov," Ceserano said.

Ceserano said not signing up can result in a penalty, "And that's one-percent (of your gross annual income) or $95, which is either the greater of the two figures."