HHS Announces ACA Enrollment Numbers

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released numbers for the first five months of enrollment under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), showing that 113,733 people enrolled in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. Coupled with enrollment of approximately 200,000 people in Medicaid under the ACA, more than 313,000 Illinois residents have gained access to health care as a result of the state’s enrollment efforts.

The HHS report found that more than 246,000 people have started the enrollment process on the federal website and been found eligible to purchase a plan. Of the 113,733 who have purchased a plan, 77 percent have been eligible for a subsidy. The report shows that in Illinois, about 54 percent of those enrolling are women, and that the percentage of young people aged 18 to 34 signing up is at 25 percent, the same as the national average.

The month of March includes a key enrollment deadline: March 31 is the deadline to sign up for coverage that starts on May 1.

Those who miss the March 31 enrollment deadline for the Health Insurance Marketplace could face financial penalties when they submit their tax returns for the 2014 year. In addition, they will not have another opportunity to enroll in a plan until November (with coverage starting in January 2015), unless they have a major, life-changing circumstance such as losing a job, having a baby or a change in marital status. Those who are eligible for Medicaid can continue to enroll without a change in circumstances after March 31.

Illinois officials said traffic on the GetCoveredIllinois.gov website has increased steadily, with more than 1.293 million website visits since October 1, and more than 513,000 users of the screening tool that leads users either to the federal website or the state’s new Medicaid eligibility site, ABE.illinois.gov (Application for Benefits Eligibility). Call the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk at 866-311-1119. Operators are available each day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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