United Way of Metropolitan Chicago has once again partnered with Chicagoland nonprofits to answer questions related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and help people to get health insurance coverage that meets their needs and budget. Working closely with Get Covered Illinois, UWMC partners have hired more than 60 staff to help people get covered.
We know the process can seem complicated, but that’s what we’re here for. Over the past few years, we’ve talked to tens of thousands of Illinoisans about their options, enrolling over 10,000 individuals into a health care plan. But there’s still plenty of work to do – Chicago has been designated by the White House as one of five U.S. Cities that will need all hands on deck to get our city covered.
So what can you do to get yourself covered? Thanks for asking! Here are some first steps you can take to look into your health options and tell your friends and family about health insurance:
- Visit www.GetCoveredIllinois.gov. This is Illinois’ one-stop shop for all things health insurance. Get information, get facts and figures and compare plans, make an appointment and #GetCovered.
- Know your deadlines. The last day you can enroll into a marketplace plan for the coming year is January 31st, 2016, but you shouldn’t wait until the last minute. To have coverage starting on January 1st, you must enroll by December 15th!
- There is a penalty for not having health insurance – and it’s getting bigger. If you don’t enroll into health coverage meeting minimal essential coverage by January 31st, 2016, you will face a penalty on your taxes when you file in 2017 of $695 or 2.5% of your income, whichever is greater.
- Make an appointment and spread the word. Everyone needs to get covered, and the best way is to make an appointment with a navigator to find the best option for you. Navigators provide free local help and can answer questions about health insurance options. To make an appointment, go to getcovered.illinois.gov/en/how-to-get-covered/get-help.