Health insurance deadline is Monday: What you need to know

Monday is the deadline to sign up for private health insurance in the new online markets created by President Barack Obama's health care law.
March 30, 2014 3:19:53 PM PDT
More than six million Americans are now signed up for health care coverage under President Obama's Affordable Care Act, but now the rush is on for other to sign up before Monday night's deadline.

Time is running out for the Arroyos.

"We've been putting it off, putting it off," Manuel Arroyo said. "It's good they have something like this."

The family is among the thousands of the uninsured in Illinois now scrambling to sign-up for the health insurance required by the Affordable Care Act.

Under the act, those who were previously unable to get insurance and are not covered by an employer's plan or other insurance can now get covered.

"Insurances can be pretty expensive, so it's nice that we have this opportunity to get insured," said Jacquelyn Arroyo.

There are just two days left to beat the March 31 deadline before the close of enrollment.

In a final push to get people signed up, Mercy Hospital is one of several enrollment centers in the city and suburbs remaining open until midnight Sunday and Monday until 11 p.m.

"If you don't currently have coverage, you need to act by 10:59 (Monday) night, March 31. Enroll today, do not delay," said Brian Gorman, Get Covered Illinois.

So far, in Illinois, more than 300,000 have enrolled in plans through Affordable Care.

Patrick Sago Sr. says he wants his 20-year-old son P.J. to sign up because his new job won't allow him to put him on his insurance for another six months.

"Somehow in between that year and the next six months folioing, I will be able to put him on there, but I need this right now," Sago said.

Plans under the act cover doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions and you can no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions like asthma or even cancer.

"For me, with preventative health care, not only helps me take better care of the patient, but see more patients," said Dr. Robert Winn, UIC Hospital and Health Services System.

But Illinois Policy Institute's Director of Health Policy Naomi Lopez Bauman, who is against so called Obamacare, says the plan will hurt healthcare and may actually increase the number of uninsured.

"In fact we're throwing a lot of people off the insurance that they like with the doctors that they liked into a system where they are paying more and getting less access to the doctors and hospitals of their choice," she said.

Illinois Policy Institute has teamed up with the Liberty Justice Center and is seeking plaintiffs for a lawsuit against the patient protection and Affordable Care Act.

Whether for or against, most say it is way too soon to access the act's success or failure.


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