SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The deadline is rapidly approaching for Illinois residents to sign up for a Marketplace Insurance plan and get health insurance.
Feb. 15 is the last day for enrollment for 2015 coverage. Nearly 300,000 Illinoisans have signed up for health plans in this enrollment period, but Laura Phelan at Get Covered Illinois says there's still work to be done. She says outreach events are scheduled throughout the state all week, and in-person assistance is also available.
"More than 50 producer partners and ambassadors have agreed to keep their offices open late into the evening, particularly the final weekend," she says. "We are stressing urgency and 'getting enrolled today.' We want to get everybody covered in Illinois."
Phelan says more than 800,000 residents have signed up for insurance coverage since it became available through Get Covered Illinois. Those who miss the deadline won't be able to sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act until next year, unless they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period - and most people who don't have health insurance in 2015 will have to pay a penalty.
Cara James with the Department of Health and Human Services says most enrollees so far have received financial assistance to help pay their monthly insurance premiums.
"Many individuals, about eight out of 10, will be able to find coverage for about $100 or less with the tax credit," says James. "So coverage continues to be more affordable for a number of individuals."
Illinoisans can choose from more than 400 different health plans, and James says the website is streamlined.
"It's a lot easier to shop for plans and to compare them," she says. "An individual is not required to log in or start the application in order to see what sort of plans are available, or to find out how much financial help may be available for them."
Information on enrollment is available at the Get Covered Illinois website at www.GetCoveredIllinois.gov, or by calling 866-311-1119.
Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL