CHICAGO – Gov. Pat Quinn has announced that the second year of open health care enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has begun.
The announcement comes as Illinois plans to build on the program’s successful first year in which more than 700,000 people across the state gained access to health coverage. The second open enrollment period is a three-month window through Feb. 15.
“In just one year more than 700,000 people across Illinois are receiving health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act,” Quinn said. “While we’ve made tremendous progress, access to health care is a fundamental right and we won’t stop until everyone has the proper care they deserve. In year two, we are pushing even harder to get everyone in Illinois covered and to make sure no one is left out.”
Uninsured residents must enroll in a plan by Dec. 15 to gain coverage starting Jan. 1. Those who selected a plan in Year One through the Marketplace must choose a plan by Dec. 15 to avoid being automatically re-enrolled in their 2014 plan and to ensure they have coverage starting Jan. 1. All 2014 Marketplace coverage will end Dec. 31, 2014, regardless of when coverage started.
To assist residents looking to enroll or re-enroll in health coverage, GCI has established a network of hundreds of bilingual Navigators around the state to provide free assistance in-person and by phone. Navigators are trained to help residents understand and review their health care options, determine if they qualify for financial assistance based on their income, and walk them through the enrollment process step-by-step.
Residents who enrolled last year are encouraged to take advantage of free, in-person assistance during open enrollment to review new health coverage options and determine if financial help is available before opting to renew their current plan.
The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) recently announced the number of Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) offered under the ACA has more than doubled from 165 plans offered in 2014 to more than 400 plans being offered in 2015.