Help navigating Affordable Care insurance

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

 The Project of the Quad Cities (TPQC) is one of 10 organizations in Illinois to receive the Get Covered Illinois Grant to provide In-Person Counseling for Marketplace health insurance.

In-Person Counselors, also known as Navigators, are trained to provide free help to consumers, small businesses, and their employees. In addition to exploring health insurance options Navigators educate consumers about complex insurance terminology and help them to complete eligibility and enrollment forms. These trained, unbiased, professionals have played an important role in the state’s enrollment efforts; resulting in more than 972,160 Illinois residents receiving coverage under the ACA or expanded Medicaid.

Open Enrollment began Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31, 2016. To have health coverage that is effective on January 1, individuals must sign up by Dec. 15, 2015. If you miss the Jan. 31, 2016 deadline you will be unable to purchase health insurance, on the Marketplace, until the next open enrollment period. You may, however, qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you have a qualifying life event like losing coverage, having a baby or getting married.

It is important to note that the fee for not having health coverage will increase for 2016 to 2.5% of your yearly household income or $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18), whichever is greater. The maximum penalty per family is $2,085. Penalties will be applied to 2017 tax returns.

If you currently have a health insurance plan from the Marketplace, we encourage you to come in and meet with an In-Person Counselor or log on to your account to compare and shop new plans. Each year, new plans are introduced and you may be able to get a health insurance plan that better fits your health and financial needs.

In-Person Counselors will be at a variety of locations in Rock Island, Mercer, Warren, Knox and McDonough counties. Locations will be announced on our Facebook page, GetCoveredIllinoisRockIslandCounty or can be found at If you have any questions or need help exploring your health insurance options, please call (309)762-5433.