CHICAGO - With a six-month enrollment period ending at the end of March, the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace has planned a month of Deal Of The Day activities and Gov. Pat Quinn has issued a proclamation to support the push to sign up the uninsured.
The public relations push is designed to call attention to the March 31 deadline for private insurance coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law. After that date, most people without insurance are subject to federal tax penalties.
"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," said Jennifer Koehler, executive director for Get Covered Illinois, in a news release.
The enrollment push has the theme "Road 2 Coverage" and will feature an RV touring the state, starting with an event Saturday at Juarez Community Academy in Chicago. The RV is designed as a moving billboard for Get Covered Illinois, making stops in communities with high numbers of uninsured residents. During March, the RV will be in the Chicago area, Marion, East St. Louis, Rockford and several other cities.
Quinn on Saturday declared March 1-8 "Get Covered Illinois Week" in a proclamation citing his administration's commitment "to improving the health and well-being of the people of Illinois."
Nationally, about 4 million people have signed up for health insurance through federal or state marketplaces set up under Obama's health care law. More than 88,000 Illinois residents signed up for private health insurance during the first four months of the nation's new insurance marketplace system.
Technical glitches and software meltdowns on the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace deterred many people from signing up after enrollments under the federal Affordable Care Act began in October, but Illinois enrollment has turned around and is nearing the original target set by the Obama administration.
Consumers who want to shop for insurance and see if they qualify for tax credits can visit the Illinois marketplace at GetCoveredIllinois.gov. Enrollment counselors throughout the state are providing help and can be found on the website by entering a ZIP code.