Full Circle: The HHO Blog

Obamacare and The American Rescue Plan in Illinois

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People in Illinois are signing up for Obamacare (Affordable Care Act coverage) at about twice the rate of last year.

Two main contributing factors are:

  • A special enrollment period (SEP)

  • The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP)

What is the Special Enrollment Period?

President Biden signed an executive order to open the ACA Marketplace for a new special enrollment in response to COVID-19. Unlike other SEPs, consumers are not required to provide proof of a qualifying life event, such as getting married, having a baby, or losing job-based coverage to enroll.

The SEP in response to COVID-19 runs through Aug. 15. Since the federal marketplace opened, from Feb. 15-March 31, the number of new plan selections in Illinois is 14,496 compared to 7,757 during the same period in 2020 and 7,459 in 2019.

"This significant increase in enrollment is just further confirmation of how important health insurance is, particularly during a pandemic," IDOI Acting Director Dana Popish Severinghaus said. "As Governor J.B. Pritzker has said many times, ‘Healthcare is a right, not a privilege,' and we encourage Illinoisans without health insurance to take this opportunity to find the right plan to meet their needs."

The American Rescue Plan Act

"About 83 percent of Illinois consumers who purchased ACA Marketplace coverage for 2020 received advanced premium tax credits to help lower monthly insurance premiums," said Laura Pellikan, executive director of Get Covered Illinois. "Now, even more people are likely to qualify for financial assistance because of the American Rescue Plan and will spend no more than 8.5 percent of their annual household income for an ACA Marketplace plan."

For more information on the 2021 Special Enrollment Period in Response to COVID-19 or to learn how to lower monthly health insurance premiums with the ARP, give us a call at (877) THE HALO

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