CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today attended one of Get Covered Illinois’ (GCI) “Last Chance” enrollment events to urge everyone still waiting on the sidelines to take action to obtain affordable health coverage. With just three days left for uninsured residents to enroll in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), GCI is hosting a series of late-night “Last Chance” enrollment events to provide in-person assistance. For the next three nights, GCI will also be extending call center hours until midnight.
"We want everyone to know that if you don't have health insurance, now is the time to take action and get covered," Governor Quinn said. "We will have the Get Covered Illinois navigators working until midnight across the state to help uninsured residents sign up for affordable health coverage before the Monday deadline."
The Governor appeared at an enrollment event at the Broadway Armory on the north side of Chicago where navigators armed with laptops and computers were helping uninsured residents explore their coverage options and enroll in a health plan. The last day to enroll in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace is March 31. Also at the event was the GCI Road2Coverage RV, which has been conducting a mobile tour across the state throughout the month of March to raise awareness about the historic opportunity to gain coverage and the impending deadline of enrollment.
More than 333,000 Illinois residents have signed up for health coverage under the ACA, according to federal and state figures. A total of 113,733 had purchased a plan through the Marketplace as of the end of February; an additional 220,000 have enrolled in expanded Medicaid under the ACA. GCI is on pace to meet the state-level enrollment estimate of 143,000 for the Marketplace established last September by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (from national Congressional Budget Office estimates).
The GCI website – GetCoveredIllinois.gov – has experienced a sharp increase in traffic during the month of March, seeing the daily count of unique visitors jump from less than 10,000 per day in February to 40,000 per day this week. In addition, the number using the GCI screening tool, which determines if applicants should seek coverage in the Marketplace or may be eligible for Medicaid, has tripled to more than 12,000 per day this week.
“We are telling everyone who was waiting until the last minute, that the last minute is now,” GCI Executive Director Jennifer Koehler said. “Our team is working statewide to help make sure Illinois consumers don’t miss out on the ‘Last Chance’ opportunity get the coverage before the March 31st deadline. We need everyone who hasn’t enrolled to start the process now!”
Failure to act to get health coverage could result in:
- Missing out on the coverage you and your loved ones need to stay healthy – the next opportunity to enroll in Marketplace health plan will be in November, with coverage starting in January 2015.
- Incurring huge medical bills if you get hurt or sick.
- Being fined either 1 percent of income or $95, whichever is greater, when you file your 2014 federal taxes.
GCI 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 statewide.
- Visit our website at GetCoveredIllinois.gov (includes a Spanish-language version).
- Call the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk at 866-311-1119.
- Meet in person with a specially trained “Navigator” who can help you understand your options and help you enroll at one of the hundreds of partner sites across the state. There are more than 1,500 Navigators throughout the state that can be located by visiting the website and entering your zip code or through calling the Help Desk.
The following locations are offering special late hours for in-person enrollment assistance over the next three days:
- UIC Hospital: 1740 W. Taylor St., Saturday, Sunday, Monday 11 a.m. until midnight all three days.
- Mercy Hospital: 2525 S. Michigan Ave., Saturday, Sunday, Monday noon to midnight.
- Ann Sather’s: 909 W. Belmont Ave., Saturday and Sunday 4 p.m.-midnight, Monday 10 a.m. to midnight.
- Norwegian American Hospital: 1044 N. Francisco, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 8 a.m. to midnight.
Outside of Chicago:
- Ingalls Hospital: Harvey, 1 Ingalls Dr., Saturday, Sunday and Monday 8 a.m. to midnight.
- St. John’s Hospital: Springfield, 800 Carpenter St., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight, Monday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- OSF St. Anthony: Rockford: 566 E. State St., Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 8 a.m. to midnight.
- St. Elizabeth’s Hospital/East Side Health District: Belleville, 211 S. 3rd St., Saturday, noon to midnight.
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