Consumers who missed the first big deadline to get insurance through the Affordable Care Act have another chance to get coverage soon. Anyone signed up by Wednesday (Jan. 15) will be covered starting the first of next month. the latest figures show far fewer Illinois residents than were expected signed up for a plan through the new federal health care law. Only about 7,000.
But that's the figure from October and November -- when Affordable Care Act website was plagued by problems that prevented people from buying plans. Numbers for December enrollment haven't been released, though there are accounts of a last-minute rush before Christmas.
Anyone who'd applied by then saw their coverage take effect at the start of the new year. Organizations like the non-profit Get Covered America are working to get more people signed up before this next, Jan. 15 deadline. Spokeswoman Kaitlyn Rowney says the campaign uses data to find people who are likely uninsured, and then help them get coverage.
"At this point it's about cutting through all the noise. For people we speak to, this isn't political, it's personal. And they want to know how the Affordable Care Act, how the new marketplace is going to affect their wallet, and how it's going to affect their family's health." -Kaitlyn Rowney, Get Covered America, Illinois Chapter
Rowney says many low-income people don't know they can get a government subsidy to help pay for coverage. Critics of the Affordable Care Act say it's a misnomer: that there aren't low-cost options. Enrollment continues through March.