Quinn: Health care signups strong for second year under ACA

Stephanie Kelly, City Editor

More than 121,000 Illinois residents signed up for health care plans in the first month of open enrollment under Get Covered Illinois’ second year, Gov. Pat Quinn announced Tuesday.

The residents either enrolled or renewed previous plans. About 800,000 Illinois residents have obtained coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act either through the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace or the expanded Medicaid program in the past 14 months, according to a news release.

“Expanding health coverage to more families has strengthened Illinois’ comeback,” Quinn said in a news release. “For all of those who have taken advantage of this historic opportunity, it means better health and financial stability, which are instrumental to a healthy family and a healthy state.”

About 80 percent of the 121,243 residents who signed up were determined eligible for financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums, compared to 73 percent of the people who signed up around the same time last year, according to the news release.

“The vast majority were able to lower their costs even further by getting tax credits, making a difference in the bottom lines of so many families,” Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in the news release.

Get Covered Illinois Executive Director Jennifer Koehler said in the news release that GCI has enrolled more people in the first 30 days of this year’s open enrollment than in the first 90 days of last year’s.

“As pleased as we are with our progress, we know there are still tens of thousands of uninsured residents in Illinois,” Koehler said in the news release. “Our goal is to reach and enroll as many of them as possible in the remaining 47 days of the Open Enrollment Period.”

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