Written by Ryan Martin
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 00:00
With the Federal Affordable Care Act taking effect in January 2014, Illinois has launched a new website that helps residents find and compare insurance coverage as mandated by the new act.
"Illinois is launching the largest, most ambitious wellness initiative in our state’s history, as well as launching a culture of coverage," said Deputy Governor Cristal Thomas, one of Illinois’ top healthcare officials. "This will take a massive education effort, and it starts with 'Get Covered Illinois.'”
Under the new Federal Affordable Care Act (often referred to as Obamacare) everyone will be required to have insurance.
The website, entitled “Get Covered Illinois”, will serve to both educate people on the Federal Affordable Care Act, while also allowing residents to search for insurance. Dubbed “The Official Health Marketplace” for Illinois, Get Covered Illinois is the only official website which allows residents to compare, side by side, eight different insurance companies.
The website will also allow people to see whether or not they are eligible for Medicaid, which has recently expanded its qualifications, as well as allow Families or individuals to apply for financial support to help lower their cost of insurance.
“Get Covered Illinois will make health care more affordable than ever for those who need it.” said Governor Quinn. “While there may be bumps along the way, this is a turning point in our nation and the state as we strive to provide decent health care to all.”
Individuals or families with an income of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $45,000 for individuals and $95,000 for a family of four, will receive subsidies on a sliding scale if they obtain coverage through the marketplace, according to a press release announcing the website.
“Illinois’ health insurance plan rates are lower than many other states and 25 percent lower than earlier predictions,” said Andrew Boron, Illinois Department of Insurance Director. “Most people will also get help paying for their plan and many will be eligible for low-cost or free health coverage.”
All plans available through the marketplace will cover important health benefits, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, maternity care, emergency room visits, mental health services, chronic disease management, prescriptions, and more according to the website.
Insurance through the marketplace will not deny coverage to those who are sick or have a pre-existing condition.
The website offers a rather extensive section dedicated to educating people on the new program and marketplace that include many frequently asked questions and links to other pages with even more information.
A screening tool featured on the website asks users a few simple questions about their family size and income, and will either direct them to the marketplace or to ABE, which is a website that allows people to apply online for Medicaid as well as nutrition and income assistance.
Enrollment in the marketplace is open now, with coverage beginning on January 1st, 2014. People can enroll online, by phone, or in person at a state community partner.
Enrollment online is done through the website, HYPERLINK "http://getcoveredillinois.gov/" GetCoveredIllinois.gov. By calling 866-311-1119 you can speak to a trained specialist who can answer any questions you have and help enroll you. If you prefer meeting with someone in person, the website allows you to search by zip code for a community partner.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 13:25