Obamacare enrollment open

If President Trump won’t remind you, One Illinois will

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act into law. (Wikimedia Commons/Pete Souza)

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act into law. (Wikimedia Commons/Pete Souza)

By Ted Cox

Enrollment is open for health insurance next year as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The enrollment period opened Thursday and extends until Dec. 15 at the healthcare.gov website.

As Illinois doesn’t have a state health exchange, that nationwide site is the best place for most adults to arrange health insurance if they haven’t already through an employer, a union, or some other agency.

There’s also information available at the Get Covered Illinois site, but to compare plans that will send you to the national site, also known as the Marketplace.

The state Department of Healthcare and Family Services, however, reminds Illinoisans that it has taken advantage of the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA, also known as Obamacare. All Illinois residents age 19 to 64 who are U.S. citizens or have legal status and have a monthly income under $1,366 for an individual or $1,845 for a couple are eligible to apply in the “ACA Adult” category.

Gov. Rauner said recently he would have vetoed that Medicaid expansion if he’d been in office in 2014, when Gov. Pat Quinn signed it into law.

President Trump has done all he can to undercut the signature achievement of his predecessor, President Obama, including cutting funds for outreach and promotion of national health plans under Obamacare, as well as moving to allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. But if Trump won’t remind you about the enrollment period, One Illinois will, along with U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and others.

Yes, the Republican Congress rescinded elements of the so-called individual mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance or pay a fine known as the Shared Responsibility Payment, effective next year, but having health insurance is a good idea for everyone, and one of the basic tenets of Obamacare was that if everyone shares the burden it’s leveled out.

Ted Cox