Health Care is Your Right, Your Responsibility

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said these profound words as he spoke to the National Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights in Chicago in 1966. Today, almost 50 years later, quality, affordable health coverage is available to you regardless of your current health situation, income level or employment status.

You may also qualify for financial help from the federal government to make things more affordable. In fact, about 80 percent of Illinois residents who selected health insurance plans in the first month of this open enrollment period were determined eligible for financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums.

The state is dedicated to helping you find the health coverage that is right for your situation and has trained assistors who can help you through the process, and if you prefer, online tools to help you with your choices. In advance of the February 15th open enrollment deadline, Get Covered Illinois will also be hosting enrollment events and extending hours at locations across the state.

To find enrollment events near you, residents can visit or call the toll-free Help Desk at 866-311-1119. By calling the Help Desk, you can even schedule an appointment with an in-person assister at a convenient location near you. Almost everyone is required to have health insurance and the fines have increased this year. If you don’t have coverage in 2015, you’ll likely pay the higher of these two amounts:

• $325 per person for the year ($162.50 per child under 18).
• 2 percent of your yearly household income.

While it’s important to understand the potential penalty for not having health coverage, the benefits of coverage far outweigh other reasons not to enroll in a health plan. All private Marketplace plans cover essential health benefits, including everything from hospitalization and laboratory services to prescription drugs, management of chronic illnesses, and routine doctor visits. Additional benefits include family planning, maternity and newborn care, mental health, outpatient services, habilitative/rehabilitative services and devices, and pediatric care. Visit or call 866-311-1119 to schedule an appointment or to find an enrollment location near you.

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