News Local/State

Another Health Care Deadline Approaching


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 -- that is Jan. 15 -- will be covered starting the first of next month.  

The latest figures of about 7,000 show far fewer Illinois residents than were expected signed up for a plan through the new federal health care law. That is 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 clammer before Christmas. Anyone who had 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. Kaitlyn Rowney said 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," Rowney said. "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."

Rowney said 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.