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Youth targeted as health insurance deadline looms

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A deadline is looming for people without health insurance to sign up for the Affordable Care Act and young people are being targeted once again. (WLS)

A deadline is looming for people without health insurance to sign up for the Affordable Care Act and young people are being targeted once again.

Compared to last year's bumpy roll out, so far, sign up has gone relatively smoothly in Illinois. Crowds have been steady at dozens of sign up locations around the state today. Get Covered Illinois began its efforts to enroll people months ago.

The last minute push had Get Covered Illinois workers busy all day at various locations signing Chicagoans up for "Obamacare." People with incomes above the poverty level must enroll by Sunday night or face an IRS penalty of $325 a person or 2 percent of the household income. The threat of that penalty is what brought Mario Hernandez into this enrollment event.

"If I qualify, this will be my first time ever because I never had insurance," he said.

Hernandez says he never had insurance because it was too expensive and the 27-year-old says he never got sick targeting young people who think they don't need health insurance has been a priority.

"We want everyone to be covered, but young people, young millennials, young invincibles, we have advertising campaigns directed specifically for them," said Charles Watkins, Get Covered Illinois regional coordinator.

Campaigns included one on social media, a controversial Buzzfeed video featuring President Barack Obama using humor to reach a young audience.

Get Covered Illinois also makes sure many of their employees who help guide people through the process are the same age group as the one they are targeting.

"Basically it is my job to explain to them that some plans may or very low cost at all," said Cedric Rowland, Get Covered Illinois.

Their job is to convince the invincables like Hernandez that health coverage is a must.

"That is one of the main things, to walking down toad slip fall..people need to get covered," Hernandez said.

So far, $875,000 people in Illinois have enrolled in Obamacare during the past 16 months. Officials say that number is expected to reach a million by the end of the month. Twenty-seven locations around the state will be open until midnight Sunday.

For more information on signing up for health insurance in Illinois, visit getcoveredillinois.gov.


Related Topics:
healthaffordable care actObamacarepresident barack obamahealth insurance
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