The Affordable Care Act and you: part 14

By WEEK Producer

December 18, 2013 Updated Dec 18, 2013 at 7:52 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- There is a new extension under the Affordable Care Act. Consumers who select a plan by Monday will now have until January 10 to pay their first month's premium.

Monday is the deadline to enroll for coverage to start on January 1.

In tonight's A-C-A in Illinois report, Eric Greene introduces us to a local couple who is ready for the new year but wasn't always sure where to turn.

"We've had problems since we went out on our own," said Tammy Finch.

Finch and her husband, Chris, started side-by-side web businesses eight years ago in East Peoria.

She is a designer, he does computer repairs.

From the start, they had trouble finding a policy that fit their needs.

"Ever since then we've been fighting, until about three years ago, when we got the insurance that we wanted," Tammy said.

They didn't even mind the small annual increases in their premiums but now, with the advent of the ACA, it is healthcare déjà vu.

They were notified they could keep their policy, but the premium would go up...way up.

"From $400 to $1,600 a month... And I said, Oh my God, we can't afford that," said Tammy.

That is a 400-percent increase.

After some back and forth with their insurance company, and the White House decision to allow people to keep their current policy for a year, the price increase dropped to a more manageable 20-percent.

With the Monday enrollment deadline approaching, Tammy, a self-professed procrastinator, finally gave the health insurance marketplace a try.

"So last Sunday I was finally able to enroll, but you know, it's not much better than what I have now," she said.

Tammy said, if she had more time she would keep shopping, but with the deadline looming will stay with her current plan and the 20-percent increase.