How to Sign Up for Obamacare in an Hour

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's literally last call for millions of Americans to abide by Uncle Sam's mandate to buy private health insurance by March 31.

If you don't, by law, you face a tax penalty that could amount to 1% of your annual household income.

The deadline is only days away, folks, and if you haven't signed up yet the thought of spending hours online watching spinning digital beach balls and being told to "start over" because of system error is probably akin to expecting root canal.

Unfortunately, a lot of Americans have decided to procrastinate, and that could further burden the health insurance exchange sign-up website.

According to Gallup, 15.9% of Americans don't have health insurance right now -- the lowest since 2008 -- and the Affordable Care Act should get the lion's share of credit.

The numbers should change again in April after a last-minute flurry of Americans decide enough is enough and sign up.

If that means you, The private online health care exchange, recently offered a sign-up survival guide that the firm says should guarantee getting coverage within 60 minutes:

25 minutes: Figure out your health care needs and budget. "Discuss priorities like costs and benefits with other stakeholders who'll be on your plan, like a spouse," the firm advises. "Understanding what you can afford and what benefits you'd like will make it easier to narrow down your coverage options."

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