'Get Covered Illinois' reminds of looming deadline

Time is running out for you to sign up for health insurance through the open marketplace under the Affordable Care Act or face penalties.

The "Get Covered Illinois" "Road 2 Coverage" mobile RV tour passed through Quincy Monday as part of its efforts to encourage people to enroll before the deadline at the end of the month.

It will be at the Adams County Health Department from 8 a.m. to noon Monday, March 10.

The Road 2 Coverage RV is acting as a moving billboard for Get Covered Illinois, making high-visibility stops in communities with high numbers of uninsured residents. Get Covered Illinois outreach teams will be at each Road 2 Coverage stop providing enrollment information and referrals to local enrollment locations. Local certified navigators are also be on hand to answer questions about the ACA and schedule enrollment appointments.

Patient advocates say premiums are based on a variety of things ranging from your age, your location and whether or not you smoke. But they say most people are surprised they qualify for financial assistance.

"If you're looking for coverage on the marketplace, there are tax credits available to help you pay your premiums," Amanda Kozar, Community Outreach Coordinator for Get Covered Illinois said. "And so far from those individuals in Illinois who've been able to sign up 75 percent have been eligible for tax credits."

If you missed the one-on-one help from Get Covered Illinois Monday, contact your local health department for an appointment with a trained advocate.

You can also shop online for yourself 24 hours a day.

If you enroll by March 15 you will have coverage by April first.

Those who miss the deadline will be fined $95 or one percent of their income - whichever is higher.

The clock is ticking toward the March 31 deadline to sign up for affordable, comprehensive health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"As we get down to the wire for enrollment, it is critical that we reach uninsured residents and motivate them to take action to get covered before the March 31 deadline," Jennifer Koehler, executive director for Get Covered Illinois said. "Get Covered Illinois is on the road and conducting outreach to increase awareness about health coverage and connect with uninsured residents in their communities."

As of Jan. 31, 88,602 Illinois residents have selected a private health care plan through the federal website since Oct. 1. In addition, more than 182,000 Illinois residents have enrolled in Medicaid under the ACA, bringing to more than 270,000 the total number that have gained access to health coverage in the state.

Get Covered Illinois is urging health care consumers to take advantage of the assistance that is being offered via the web, over the phone and in person through hundreds of community partners across the state:

Click here to visit theGetCoveredIllinois website.

You can call the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk at 866-311-1119. Operators are available each day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.