Illinois health law enrollment surpasses 296,000

CHICAGO (AP) — More than 296,000 Illinois residents have signed up for private health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health law. There is a little a week left before the enrollment period ends. Federal officials released updated numbers Wednesday for Illinois through Jan. 30. The Illinois tally of 296,293 includes people who selected a health plan through HealthCare.gov and those who were automatically enrolled. The government says 78 percent of Illinois consumers were eligible for financial assistance to lower their monthly costs. The government also gave figures for the Chicago metropolitan area with more than 241,000 enrollees. The St. Louis metro area has nearly 97,000 people signed up for health insurance. The metro areas cross state lines, so the totals exceed the Illinois figure. Open enrollment runs through Feb. 15.