Illinois residents have until the end of the month to buy health insurance through the marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act. David Elin, the state director of the Get Covered America campaign, says while enrollment in Illinois has caught up to the original projections, he’s not surprised that some of the uninsured have yet to sign up. “We’ve known from other implementations and other rollouts, like in Massachusetts, that people do tend to wait until the deadline, and that’s OK,” Elin said.
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Elin says he’s emphasizing the benefits of health coverage to those who haven’t enrolled, rather than focusing on the fine that they’ll have to pay if they remain uninsured. “The penalty is far worse for not being able to afford to pay your bills because you don’t have coverage,” Elin said. People without health insurance on April 1 will have to pay a penalty of 1 percent of their yearly household income, or $95, whichever is greater.