Health insurance marketplace RV stopping in Champaign

Health insurance marketplace RV stopping in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — The mobile unit promoting Illinois' health insurance marketplace is scheduled to make a stop in Champaign on Wednesday afternoon.

This will be the 19th stop for the state's Road 2 Coverage RV, which will be at Parkland College from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., with a state team to be inside the college's X-wing to help anyone with questions about signing up for health coverage.

The state tour is a final monthlong push to urge the uninsured to sign up for coverage to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act before open enrollment closes for the year March 31.

"I think the goal is to get as many places as we can," said Amanda Kozar, regional outreach coordinator for Get Covered Illinois.

When the marketplace opened this past fall, the state expected at least 300,000 people to sign up for coverage in the initial enrollment period running Oct. 1, 2013, to the end of this month.

As of last count available in mid-February, there were 88,602 Illinois residents signed up for private health plans through the state marketplace and another 168,000 enrollments in Medicaid.

Under terms of the federal law, nearly everyone must have health insurance this year.

Those who don't will be subject to penalties payable next year when it comes time to file 2014 income taxes.

Kozar said she believes enrollment has been picking up in recent weeks.

"And we've seen an uptick in interest from young people who are looking for coverage, and all those point to a positive direction," she said.

Parkland was chosen as the destination in Champaign because the state wants to reach students who need coverage, she said. But anyone can stop by Parkland on Wednesday for assistance, she said.

The state health marketplace crew won't actually be doing enrollment, but will pass out information and answer questions, and there will be navigators making appointments for those who want in-person help enrolling.

Campaign for Better Health Care also will have a navigator on hand at Parkland, in Room X-150, offering enrollment help Wednesday afternoon.

People stopping by the state mobile van at Parkland will also be offered a chance to share stories on video about why they signed up for coverage or want coverage.

Sections (2):News, Local