Twice as Many Illinoisans Signing Up For ACA Health Insurance During Pandemic

Twice as Many Illinoisans Signing Up For ACA Health Insurance During Pandemic

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Illinoisans are signing up for ACA Health Insurance Marketplace plans at nearly twice the rate of this time last year, according to federal CMS numbers released this week.

Nearly 15,000 Illinois consumers purchased and enrolled in health plans since February, when President Joe 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, 2021. Since the federal marketplace opened, from Feb. 15 to March 31, 2021, 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,” said IDOI Acting Director Dana Popish Severinghaus.

According to federal CMS, its data shows that nationally, from Feb. 15 to March 31, 17% of consumers who identified as Black purchased ACA Marketplace plans, compared to about 11% during the same period in 2020 and 2019. Also, more lower income Americans selected new health plans.

“About 83% 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% of their annual household income for an ACA Marketplace plan.”

Get Covered Illinois (GCI), a division of the Illinois Department of Insurance, is the official health marketplace or “exchange” for Illinois consumers to purchase quality, affordable health insurance, facilitated by the federal government through the ACA Marketplace.

For more information on the 2021 Special Enrollment Period in Response to COVID-19 for the ACA Marketplace, visit:

*Illinois consumers purchasing and enrolling in new health plans who did not have an active ACA Marketplace plan as of Feb. 14, 2021 and selected a plan on or after Feb. 15, 2021 that is still active, as of the end of the reporting period.

2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period Report | CMS