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Time Short to Select a Get Covered Illinois Health Plan

In 2019, roughly 312,000 Illinoisans were enrolled in health care coverage through the federal marketplace. (AdobeStock)
In 2019, roughly 312,000 Illinoisans were enrolled in health care coverage through the federal marketplace. (AdobeStock)
December 12, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – There's not much time left for Illinoisans to sign up for medical coverage from the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace for 2020.

After Sunday, marketplace plans will not be available unless a person has a qualifying life event, such as getting married or losing employer-based health care.

Laura Pellikan, executive director of Get Covered Illinois, says Illinoisans can shop for a plan online at getcovered.illinois.gov where they also can access free assistance from an application counselor.

"When they go to make an appointment, they can type in their ZIP Code and it'll bring up a list of agencies in their local areas along with the phone numbers,” Pellikan explains. “So, they can call those places or they can call the main number for assistance, which is 800-318-2596."

Pellikan recommends that both first-time shoppers and those returning compare plan costs, and check health plans to ensure current medical providers are included in coverage for 2020.

As of last Saturday, about 112,000 Illinoisans had already selected a marketplace plan for 2020.

Randy Pate, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, explains that in Illinois, a total of 142 plans are available for 2020 through five health insurance carriers.

"The good news is that premiums are dropping again by about 2% since last year,” he states. “And around 85% of people who enroll qualify for some form of premium assistance, which is going to further lower their premiums."

Financial assistance is available based on income and family size.

Pellikan says eligibility information is available at getcovered.illinois.gov.

"There is an exercise on the website that allows people to punch in those numbers, that can help them determine if they're able to get aid,” she points out. “And they can also talk to somebody from the navigator assistance that can help them through that as well, or if they might qualify for Medicaid."

In 2019, roughly 312,000 Illinoisans were enrolled in health care coverage through the federal marketplace.

Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL