By Ellen Jean Hirst, February 6, 2015
Sunday marks the start of the final week of Obamacare open enrollment, Year 2.
Nationwide, about 9.9 million people have signed up for health insurance through federal or state exchanges since open enrollment began Nov. 15, handily beating the federal goal of 9.1 million. Illinois claimed 296,293 of those enrollees through Jan. 30.
Going without coverage carries a penalty. Uninsured consumers will have to pay a fee of $325 or 2 percent of their income come tax season, whichever is greater.
If you sign up by Feb. 15, the last day of open enrollment, you’ll be covered starting March 1. Even though those consumers didn’t have health insurance for two months, they won’t have to pay the fee, according to Enroll America, a Washington-based nonprofit pushing to enroll people in health insurance across the country.