Will County health officials saw a late surge of enrollments for health insurance as about 2,900 people signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
According to The Herald-News, Monday was the deadline for people across the United States to receive a health insurance plan in the health insurance marketplace. However, federal officials said after the deadline that people could still get covered as long as they tried to enroll beforehand.
According to Get Covered Illinois, uninsured residents who tried to apply for coverage that ran into issues before the deadline have until April 15 to complete enrollment.
About 58 percent of the total enrollments done through the department happened in March, said Vic Reato, media services manager for the department.
Will County officials had estimated there were about 60,000 eligible uninsured people in the county.
The number reflects only those people who enrolled through the Will County Health Department but not all in the county who signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
About 909 of those people enrolled through the health insurance marketplace while the rest went for expanded Medicaid coverage, Reato said.
Health Department staff provided assistance to 7,149 people and had in-person contact with more than 3,000 people.
In Illinois more than 333,000 people signed up for coverage, with roughly 113,700 purchasing a plan through the marketplace at the end of February and additional 220,000 enrolling in expanded Medicaid coverage, according to Get Covered Illinois.
Nationally, more than 7 million people signed up for coverage through the health insurance marketplace, federal officials announced Tuesday.
Additional enrollment efforts came from other organizations in the county, such as the Will-Grundy Medical Clinic.
Shawn West, executive director for the clinic, said she hasn’t noticed a drop in the number of patients at the clinic because they got health insurance coverage. She said it’ll take time for Medicaid applications to be processed. On the national front, it’ll also take time to see the number of uninsured people decrease.
“I think the federal government really put forth a Herculean effort and it will take time,” she said. “It will take years for everyone to get covered.”
The next open enrollment period won’t begin until November 15.