Health insurance marketplace opens Tuesday, but officials say no need to rush
A state official said there is plenty of time to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and still meet the law's deadline.
Kelly Sullivan is a spokesperson for Illinois' health insurance marketplace called "Get Covered Illinois," where you can go to enroll in the new program.
But, Sullivan said you don't have to sign up Tuesday, the first day of enrollment. You have until March 31 to sign up without penalty, which gives you time to review your options for a plan that best suits your needs.
Sullivan said if you want your health insurance coverage to begin Jan. 1, you need to enroll in a plan by Dec. 15. If you sign up between Dec. 16 and the deadline of March 31, your coverage will start about four weeks after you enroll. A tax penalty of $95 will be imposed on people who miss the March 31 deadline.
Starting Tuesday, you can go to the state's health insurance marketplace website to get more information and to sign up for health insurance. The state has also set up a call center to offer help. That number is 866-311-1119. Locally, you can go to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District main office in Champaign to meet with a staff member who will help you enroll.