Get Covered Illinois (GCI) kicked off open enrollment Saturday, Nov. 15 with a variety of enrollment events throughout the state. During the second Open Enrollment Period, a three-month window that runs Nov. 15 through Feb. 15, Illinois residents can purchase health coverage through the Illinois Marketplace. Residents can compare plans and receive assistance navigating their insurance options through GCI.
Saturday events around the state included health fairs and enrollment locations in Peoria, Springfield, Rockford, Harrisburg and more.
“In just one year more than 700,000 people across Illinois are receiving health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act,” Gov. Quinn said. “While we've made tremendous progress, access to health care is a fundamental right and we won't stop until everyone has the proper care they deserve. In year two, we are pushing even harder to get everyone in Illinois covered and to make sure no one is left out.”
GCI employs hundreds of bilingual Navigators around the state who provide free assistance in-person and by phone to residents who are looking to enroll or re-enroll in health coverage. Navigators are trained to help residents understand and review their health care options, determine if they qualify for financial assistance based on their income, and walk them through the enrollment process step-by-step.
“In Year One, we learned that many people waited until the final days to enroll in coverage. We want to ensure people are able to sign up early and get the insurance they need instead of waiting until the last minute,” GCI Executive Director Jennifer Koehler said. “Residents can call (866) 311-1119 to schedule a free, in-person meeting at convenient time and nearby location to help ensure they get a plan that best meets their needs and budget.”
Residents who enrolled last year are encouraged to revisit the Marketplace during open enrollment to review new health coverage options and determine if financial help is available before opting to renew their current plan. The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) recently announced the number of Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) offered under the ACA has more than doubled from 165 plans offered in 2014 to more than 400 plans being offered in 2015.
Uninsured residents must enroll in a plan by Dec. 15 to gain coverage starting Jan. 1, 2015. Those who selected a plan in Year One through the Marketplacemust choose a plan by Dec. 15 to avoid being automatically re-enrolled in their 2014 plan and to ensure they have coverage starting Jan. 1, 2015. All 2014 Marketplace coverage will end Dec. 31, 2014, regardless of when coverage started.