UPDATE: Tomorrow is now an important Obamacare enrollment date

By Nick Kovatch on December 23 at 1:36pm

People trying to sign up for health insurance on the new state and federal exchanges have an extra day to do it.

Tomorrow is the new deadline in order to be insured by January 1st.

A statement cites “high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones” on HealthCare.Gov, the federal website for the new exchanges.

Layna Miller is leading the charge to assist people purchase health insurance at the Morgan County Health Department. She says there’s no need to panic.

“Open enrollment does go on until March 31st,” says Miller. “There is kind of a rush today to get coverage, but for those people out there that haven’t had health coverage in years and aren’t in a big hurry to get that done but want to do it just so that they are abiding by the law there is still plenty of time to do that.”

Miller says choose carefully and don’t hurry to simply buy the least expensive plan.

“I would not rush out and pay for something and then not have the quality of coverage that you want,” says Miller. “You still have plenty of time to take your time and really look at the details of the plans that you’re shopping around for.”

Recently it was discovered that 30,000 people in Illinois may have been mistakenly set up with Medicaid plans and that they will have to start the process over, but Miller says she hasn’t heard of any problems locally.

Miller says you can call the Morgan County Health Department at 245-5111 to set up an appointment for assistance with purchasing federal health insurance.

The Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living is also offering assistant for those in Morgan, Cass, Scott and Mason Counties. Their number is 245-8371.

If you want help sooner, an Illinois hotline for people still looking to sign up is extending its hours tonight. The “Get Covered Illinois” help desk will be staffed until 10:00.

The hotline number is 866-311-1110.

Illinoisans without health coverage by April 1st will face a penalty of $95 or one-percent of their adjusted gross income.