Durbin, Schakowsky, Quigley Urge Illinoisans to Get Covered Before ACA Enrollment Deadline

CHICAGO – With an important Affordable Care Act deadline less than two weeks away, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) and Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region V Director Kathleen Falk today urged the remaining uninsured and those wishing to re-enroll to take action before the December 15th deadline in order to get health care coverage that starts in January.

Open enrollment for 2016 coverage runs from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016, but for coverage to start January 1, people must sign up by December 15th. Illinoisans can enroll by visiting GetCoveredIllinois.gov, calling 866-311-1119 or attending upcoming local events where trained professionals will be offering free and confidential assistance.

“The Affordable Care Act has addressed some of the most glaring gaps in America’s healthcare system. It helps Illinoisans who are self-employed, starting a business, between jobs, or recently out of school get the health care security they deserve,” Durbin said. “Picking the right health insurance for you and your family can be difficult.  But it isn’t impossible, and there are people to help you. I’m happy to be here today to encourage people in Illinois to take advantage of all the ACA has to offer and sign up now for affordable health care coverage for next year.”

“Over 17 million Americans are already enjoying the benefits of affordable, quality health care coverage,” said Rep. Schakowsky.  “It is vital that all Americans who don't have healthcare coverage sign up and get covered, and that those already in the Exchange shop to make sure that they are in a plan that includes their doctors.”

“Before Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, premiums were rising three times faster than wages, the rising costs of health care were hurting small businesses, and Americas were denied coverage because of preexisting conditions. But now, thanks to the ACA, all Americans have access to affordable health insurance,” said Rep. Quigley. “Tremendous progress was made in the Latino community specifically, as 4.2 million Latinos gained health care coverage under ACA. I’m proud to join my colleagues Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Schakowsky to ensure that all Chicagoans sign up for the early deadline to ensure coverage by January 1st.”


“We are working hard to make it easier to get covered –in fact, you can even do so on your cell phone!—but it takes the hard work of leaders and partners in the community to get the word out,” said Falk.  “That is why we are so grateful for the leadership and efforts of Senator Durbin, Congresswoman Schakowsky, and Congressman Quigley.”


More than 800,000 people in Illinois now have health insurance through the Marketplace or Medicaid. About 240,000 of those people who purchased a plan through GetCoveredIllinois.gov receive a subsidy to help pay for that coverage. 


Of the remaining uninsured who qualify for the Marketplace, more than 7 out of 10 are employed.  Almost 40 percent of the uninsured are earning between 139 and 250 percent of the poverty level—which is about 30 to 60 thousand dollars a year for a family of four.  In addition, almost half are between the ages of 18 and 34.


Many plans have changed significantly for 2016 so consumers are encouraged to check out the plans online or through a navigator to make sure they're enrolled in the plan that best meets their budget and health needs. More than half of Illinoisans will be able to buy a plan for $75 or less a month in premiums after tax credits, and over 9 out of 10 returning Illinoisans could save an average of $1,030 annually in premiums (before tax credits) for a plan in the same level of coverage by returning to shop.