"Get Covered Illinois" looks to educate the uninsured

By Beau Ebenezer

November 11, 2013 Updated Nov 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- It's been one week since the "Get Covered Illinois" health insurance Marketplace opened, and officials are still in the process of educating the public on the online portal.

Uninsured Illinois residents can now shop around on getcoveredillinois.gov for the best insurance plan, which suits them under the Affordable Care Act.

State officials hope to enroll 300,000 people by next year's deadline.

However, right now, there are still several questions surrounding the insurance exchange.

Officials said education this month will prepare residents for enrollment in the coming months.

"When people can go online and shop for a plan that fits their needs, it allows them to do all of these elements that are part of the healthcare plans," said Outreach Director for Get Covered Illinois, Brian Gorman. "They will know that there is a premiums tax credit and cost sharing subsidy to offset the cost. We are enormously confident that people, who want to have it and the people who need to have it, will enroll over the six month enrollment period."

Illinois residents must be registered by December 15 to qualify for coverage starting January 1.

However, you have until March 31to sign up and avoid a penalty.