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Illinois Extends Hotline For Health Insurance Questions

Get Covered Illinois

Help Desk hours will be extended from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for residents needing to discuss their health coverage options. The extended hours run through Dec. 23. Call 866-311-1119 for more information.

Illinois Launches Ad Campaign 

The deadline is rapidly approaching to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  Illinois is finally taking to the airwaves to let people know about it. 

State officials had always planned to hold off on advertising until close to the deadline.

Then there were all of the problems with the website people were supposed to use to get insurance.

The Director of Illinois' health insurance marketplace - called "Get Covered Illinois" says in a statement that "now that the federal website has improved, it's time to promote enrollment."

Ramped up efforts include a million dollar TV ad campaign.

The deadline to sign up for what's been widely dubbed as "Obamacare" is Dec. 23, in order to have coverage at the start of the year.

Federal numbers show that 7,000 Illinois residents selected private insurance plans through the healthcare.gov website from October, when it opened, to the start of this month.

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report.