No medical insurance? Don’t miss the deadline for enrollment in the insurance program for 2018. Here’s where to get help!

Thursday, 02 November 2017 14: 08
Written by Joni B. Bailey


It's that time of year again!  If you haven’t applied for insurance on before, here is a guide to navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace (also called the health insurance "exchange").

What is Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance?

Most Southern Illinoisians know the ACA as Obamacare.  It is the insurance marketplace that was set up as part of the national health care reform law enacted in March 2010.

The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to make affordable health insurance available to more Americans.  

Who should enroll in an ACA healthcare plan?

Anyone who doesn't already have health insurance coverage through an employer, Medicare, Medicaid, or another source can shop for insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

If you are uninsured and thinking about filing a Social Security Disability insurance claim, you will need medical evidence to prove your case.  Since good medical evidence is crucial to the strength of your claim, it is very important that you have a health insurance plan and are able to be evaluated by a doctor.

When is the open enrollment period?

The open enrollment period is shorter this year than those in the past.  This year, it runs from November 1 to December 15.

How do I enroll in an ACA healthcare plan?

There are four basic ways you can enroll in an Affordable Care Act health insurance plan.

What should I know about enrolling online?

If you choose to enroll in insurance online, be aware that the website will experience planned downtime for maintenance on most Sunday mornings during the enrollment period from 12AM to 12PM Eastern time.  Sunday, December 10 is the exception to this rule.

Reportedly, the website is also scheduled to be down overnight on November 1.

Where can I go to get free enrollment assistance in Southern Illinois?

Shawnee Health Service, with offices in Carbondale and Murphysboro, is offering free in-person assistance for those who need help enrolling in ACA health coverage.

Carbondale Office
400 South Lewis Lane, 
Carbondale, Illinois 62901

Murphysboro Office
7 South Hospital Drive
Murphysboro, Illinois 62966

A full list of participating locations is as follows:


Click here to download this table as a PDF for print.

Joni Beth Bailey is a Southern Illinois Social Security Disability attorney.

social security disability lawyer in murphysboro, il

Free Resource

Subscribe to Email Updates

News From My Colleagues

Bryant Legal Group Blog
Bryant Legal Group PC provides counsel to professionals as well as workers regarding disability and insurance coverage issues.

Avard Law Offices Blog
Avard Law handles Social Security disability, long term disability, veteran's disability, and workman’s compensation, cases among many others.

Law Offices of Lawrence D. Rohlfing Blog
The Law Offices of Lawrence D. Rohlfing has represented the disabled in court since 1985.

Law Office of Annette Rutkowski Blog
The Law Office of Annette Rutkowski handles Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims at any stage in the process.

Daley Disability Law Firm Blog
The lawyers at Daley Disability Law have over 50 years of experience combined representing clients in disability cases throughout the Midwest.

National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives
The NOSSCR offers continuing legal education for Social Security Disability representatives.

Social Security News
Your source for news affecting the U.S. Social Security Administration