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AP Photo/Seth Perlman

AP Photo/Seth Perlman

Don’t delay – enroll today with Get Covered Illinois and avoid a fine

The clock is ticking to enroll in a health insurance plan, and you may be up against more than expensive health care costs if you don’t enroll by February 15. Almost everyone is required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but time is almost up to take advantage of the quality health coverage options available on the Marketplace. However, Get Covered Illinois (GCI) has resources available to help Illinois residents choose the best plan to fit their health needs and budget.

Here are a few things people should keep in mind about selecting coverage:

  1. 15 is the deadline to enroll in coverage that starts March 1. If you miss this important deadline, you may have to wait until 2016 for health coverage through the Marketplace.
  2. You may have to pay a penalty on your 2015 taxes if you do not choose a health plan by Feb. 15. Depending on your income, the fine for not having health insurance may be $325 at minimum.
  3. Sign up early and beat the rush to enroll. Last year, website traffic through GetCoveredIllinois.gov, calls to the GCI Help Desk and appointments with trained professionals spiked in the final days of Open Enrollment, creating longer wait times and jeopardizes the chances of getting covered in time. Make you sure you take advantage of the opportunities available for free in-person help by enrolling today.
  4. You may pay more for your health care if you do not enroll in a health plan through the Marketplace, meaning you must pay for any services you receive from the doctor out of pocket. Accidents happen, and it’s better to be ready for them. Health insurance can help make your treatment affordable.
  5. You don’t have to do it alone. Free in-person assistance from hundreds of trained professionals near you is available throughout the state. Get Covered Illinois is extending hours at enrollment locations, and in-person appointments are available to help consumers enroll before the deadline.

“February 15 is the last day to enroll in health coverage, and we’re urging everyone to beat the rush and enroll today,” said Jennifer Koehler, executive director for GCI. “It’s important that every uninsured Illinois resident takes advantage of the health care opportunities available and sign up for coverage before it’s too late.”

GCI is hosting enrollment events and extending hours at locations leading up to the Feb. 15 deadline. For a complete list of locations, visit GetCoveredIllinois.gov or call the Help Desk at (866) 311-1119 to schedule an appointment or to find free in-person help near you.

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