New health care options coming Tuesday

September 29, 2013 8:51:43 PM PDT
The Affordable Care Act will become a lot more real Tuesday when a new insurance marketplace goes online.

But there is some confusion about how to sign up and who is impacted by the change.

The reality is new health insurance options are coming to those in Illinois without insurance.

The new options bring some confusion and many questions.

Many of those questions will be answered this week.

Starting October 1, this Tuesday, more resources come online.

In an unusual site at the Thompson Center, typically devoid of workforce on a Sunday night, a band of workers there and across the state were preparing for the Affordable Care Act in Illinois.

"Not only has this never happened before, but it is the single largest expansion of healthcare in the state's history," said Brian Gorman, director of outreach for Getcovered Illinois.

Starting Tuesday, he says they will have a website and call center up and running to help Illinoisans find answers about affordable care through the public marketplace.

ABC7 got a jump on those questions from our viewers.

The biggest question we had was how much will it cost.

The cost will depend on your age, where you live, your family size, if you use tobacco products and which plan you choose.

And there is cost-sharing for those who can't afford it.

"Depending upon your economic situation, there is going to be a break for those families who qualify," Gorman said. "That's a break in the form of premium tax credits toward premium costs or to cost-sharing for out-of-pocket costs copays, etc."

Who can sign up for health care insurance through Illinois' marketplace?

The public marketplace is for those who do not have health insurance.

There are currently more than one million people without health insurance in the state.

"If you have quality affordable health care coverage through your employer you don't need to do anything," said Gorman. "If you're currently enrolled in Medicare it doesn't affect you at all, you don't need to do anything. If you're currently enrolled in Medicaid, you don't need to do anything."

Another question was whether those with pre-existing conditions pay more.

The answer is no. The cost is will only be based on the factors we mentioned.

Some large companies will offer employees health insurance through a private marketplace.

Those private health insurance exchanges are not part of the affordable care act.

Leah wants to know your questions and concerns about the Affordable Care Act. Please CLICK HERE to post your questions or comments.

General information about the Affordable Care Act:
http://www.healthcare.gov

Great resource for small businesses and the ACA:
healthcoverageguide.org


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