Cool reception for new sign-up window under health care law

This is the first year fines are being collected

This file photo shows the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, on a laptop screen. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

WASHINGTON (AP) — If you’re among the several million people hit with new federal fines for going without health insurance, then starting Sunday you’ll get a second chance to sign up for 2015 coverage through HealthCare.gov.

That might ease the sting of rising penalties for people still uninsured this year.

Fines payable to the IRS are the stick behind the coverage offer in the health law.

Virtually every in the U.S. is now required to get covered through an employer, a government program, or by buying individual policies.

This is the first year fines are being collected. H&R Block says the penalty averages about $170 among its affected customers.

If you’re hit with the penalty, you’ll have until April 30 to sign up for coverage and avoid bigger fines next year.

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