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Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace begins Nov. 1, 2017. The deadline for enrolling in the marketplace is December 15, 2017. You MUST enroll by December 15, 2017 to have health insurance in 2018.

The Health Insurance Marketplace provides options for affordable health insurance plans sold by insurance companies. If you bought a health insurance plan through the Marketplace in 2017, you can renew your current plan or enroll in a different plan for 2018.

You also can apply for the expanded Medicaid program at any time.

The Affordable Care Act made changes to the Medicaid program, making it different from how you might remember in years past. If you applied for Medicaid prior to 2014 and did not qualify, you now may be able to receive free or low-cost health insurance coverage through the Medicaid expansion.

What is The Affordable Care Act?

You might have heard of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as "Obamacare." This law requires that almost everyone be enrolled in a health insurance plan or pay a penalty. If you haven't had health insurance in the past, you are now likely eligible and will need to sign up for some type of health insurance plan.

What is the Difference Between Medicaid and the Health Insurance Marketplace?

The Medicaid program, which allows individuals to receive free or low-cost health insurance coverage, will be expanding to cover all individuals with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level (in 2017 at or below ~$33,948 for a family of four). Medicaid provides comprehensive benefits and services including hospital care, outpatient care, and preventive and wellness services.

If your income is too high for Medicaid, you can purchase private health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Health Insurance Exchange. The Marketplace will be similar to other websites you might be familiar with, like Expedia or Travelocity. Just as these sites find the best travel option at the best price for you, the Marketplace will allow you to compare health insurance options side by side and select the plan that is best for you. Families with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level (up to ~$98,400 for a family of four) will be eligible for support in the form of an income tax credit to assist you with paying for your plan.  Those with Medicare, employer-sponsored insurance, or who are not legal permanent residents are not eligible to purchase plans on the Marketplace.

Where can I find more information and assistance with enrolling?

  • Visit HealthCare.gov
  • Call the toll-free federal help line, available 24/7, at 1-800-318-2596
  • Free, local, in-person enrollment help is available. Find local help by visiting www.ilcha.org/help

How can UI Health help me?

We can answer your questions over the phone, by email, or you can schedule an appointment to get help in-person.

Share information in your community

If you are interested in sharing information about the new healthcare options and how to sign up, download and print our Get Insured Card below.
Get Insured Card - English (pdf)
Get Insured Card - Spanish (pdf) 

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