Navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace locally

By Anthony Antoine |

Published 09/30 2013 05:02PM

Updated 09/30 2013 05:36PM

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA -- Starting Tuesday, you can enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Affordable Care Act is geared toward the 48-million people who are uninsured through their work.

They include part-time workers or those who can't afford coverage. It also guarantees insurance for people who've been denied in the past, but it also means changes for those currently covered.

One of the places you can go for help is the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. They have personal counselors to help you get started. They're not sure how many people will sign up, but they're preparing for a huge turnout.

The health department received a grant in July for those counselors. They'll provide one-on-one help. All have been trained and certified by the state. They'll walk you through the online enrollment process.

Coverage kicks in January 1, 2014. You have until March 31, 2014, to enroll.

Not all organizations will be ready by Tuesday. Frances Nelson Health Center is taking appointments with personal counselors starting next week.

Pace, Inc., also isn't ready. It's not state-certified just yet. That will happen within the next week. You can sign up for health insurance at that time.

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