The Affordable Care Act & Insurance Sign-Up

The Wellness Centers can assist you in understanding the Affordable Care Act and getting health insurance.

​Important Dates for 2016 Enrollment

November 1, 2015: Open Enrollment started — first day you can enroll in a 2016 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2016.
December 15, 2015: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start January 1, 2016
January 1, 2016: 2016 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by December 15.
January 15, 2016: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start February 1, 2016
January 31, 2016: 2016 Open Enrollment ends. Enrollments or changes between January 16 and January 31 take effect March 1, 2016.
If you don’t enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan by January 31, 2016, you can’t enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.


 Who is Eligible For Insurance Coverage?
Everyone who is a legal U.S. citizen is eligible for either public coverage through the expanded Medicaid Program or private insurance through the Illinois Health Marketplace.

How Do I Apply for Health Insurance on the Marketplace?

Get Covered Illinois – The Official Health Marketplace — is a website that helps you shop for the health insurance plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. Answer a few simple questions and the website will bring you to the right place for you to compare the costs and benefits of different insurance plans side-by-side before you choose a plan to enroll in.

Can Someone Help Me Apply For Insurance?

Yes.  There are specially training counselors called Navigators who are available to answer your questions for free and help you apply for coverage in person.  Visit to find a Navigator near you.

When Can I Apply?

You can apply for new health insurance options now through March 2014.  The date of your coverage depends on when you buy your health insurance plan.  After March 2014, if you experience certain life events – like a marriage, divorce, or new marriage – you may be able to buy insurance through the Marketplace at that time. 

What Types of Information Will I Need to Get Health Insurance Through the Marketplace?

To buy insurance through the Marketplace and find out if you can receive financial help, it would be helpful to know your Social Security number, employer and income information, and tax information. 
What Benefits Will My Plan Cover?
By law, every insurance plan on the Marketplace includse:
• Outpatient services, like services or tests done at a medical center or doctor’s office that do not require you to stay overnight.
• Emergency services, like medical care given to treat a sudden or unexpected illness in an emergency to keep you from getting worse.
• Hospitalization, like services, tests, or surgery that require you to stay the night in the hospital.
• Maternity and newborn care, like services during pregnancy and after your baby is delivered, including breastfeeding.
• Mental health and substance abuse disorder services, including behavioral health treatment, like services that improve your mental well-being or treat a mental illness or substance use problem.
• Prescription drugs, like medicines that require a prescription from your doctor.
• Habilitative and Rehabilitative services and devices, like physical therapy, which helps you recover skills that you lost because you were hurt or disabled, or helps you develop and maintain the skills you need.
• Laboratory services, like tests you take to diagnose an illness or problem.
• Preventative and wellness services and chronic disease management like check-ups and screenings to help you stay healthy and services to improve your quality of life by preventing or lowering the effect of a disease. 
• Pediatric care, including medical, dental and vision care for children.
Dental coverage for adults is available through the Marketplace at an additional cost.
To get insurance coverage, visit the Marketplace at or call the toll-free Help Desk at (866) 311-1119, open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8