Last day to enroll for ACA health insurance, but Medicaid enrollment will be ongoing

March 31 was the last day to enroll for health insurance through the new Affordable Care Act marketplace, until a re-enrollment period opens next Nov. 15. People in Illinois who are uninsured and earn over $16,000 a year could purchase health insurance plans at  This coverage comes with large subsides from the federal government that are designed to make plans affordable for lower income individuals.

People who did not begin the process of enrolling by March 31 may be subject to a fine of either $95 or % of their income, whichever is greater. However, persons experiencing homelessness or whose income is below a certain amount are exempt from this penalty for not buying health insurance. To learn more about whether you are exempt, visit 

Please note: Medicaid enrollment never ends

Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income people who make less than 138% of the federal poverty line ($16,000/individual; $38,000/5-person family). There is no deadline for enrolling in Medicaid. People who believe they are eligible for Medicaid can continue to enroll after the March 31 deadline for purchasing marketplace plans has passed.

Visit to submit a Medicaid application online, or call: 1 (800) 843-6154 to enroll immediately over the phone.

If you are younger than age 25 and experiencing homelessness, and you would like help enrolling or you are denied coverage, contact Graham Bowman, Equal Justice Works fellow at the CCH Law Project. He can be reached at or (312) 641-4140, ext. 228.