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ACA prices lower than expected

Update: 6:08 pm SPRINGFIELD -- The price to pay for health insurance in Illinois might be lower than expected.
Update: 6:08 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- The price to pay for health insurance in Illinois might be lower than expected. Governor Quinn says predictions made by the Federal Government were off.

He's predicting the prices will be around 25% lower than expected, although details about pricing or information about the plans won't be known until October 1. Meantime, some organizations are working to prepare for the marketplace to go live.

The Sangamon County Health Department is training 18 employees who will help clients determine what coverage they need, and what they can afford. The department has been awarded a $234,000 grant for the training.

Director Jim Stone said, "We will obviously be talking with them about the basic parts of the application, knowing what your income is, talking with them about the health plans, helping them make choices, if you will, as to what they want in the way of coverage."

The Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace will offer 165 plans by eight different insurers. The plans will be categorized from lowest to highest cost, with lower premiums having higher out-of-pocket costs. Depending on household income, some people may qualify for new tax credits to help lower their costs.
Original: 5:01 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- Healthcare for the millions of uninsured in Illinois is about to change and state officials say it's affordable. The Affordable Care Act will open up options for those without health insurance. WCIA-3's Alexandrea Davis has the details.

Governor Pat Quinn says health plan rates are expected to be about 25% below the U.S. Health and Human Services estimates.

"People are choosing whether to eat or have healthcare and, like I said, they're forgoing healthcare. Now the state is helping with children, but what about adults that are going without?"

Starting October 1, the uninsured in Illinois will be able to select a carrier and a plan to suit their budget and healthcare needs.

"We will obviously be talking with them about the basic parts of the application, knowing what your income is, talking with them about the health plans, helping them make choices, if you will, as to what they want in the way of coverage."

Customers will be able to choose from 165 plans when the marketplace goes live. Consumers will have to wait until then to learn exactly what choices will be available in their region and how much they'll play.

"Our process is not to guide people toward any specific plan. It's to help answer questions they may have when they're considering the various plans and obviously to help them with the kind of information they'll have to submit to prove their eligibility."

The Sangamon County Health Department is prepping 18-employees to become in-person counselors. The department is using a $234,000 grant for training and future outreach for those workers to help clients learn about their coverage options.

"What our ICP's will do is help people navigate through that process and understand what's involved with choosing a plan, how the premium works."

Those health plans will be offered by eight insurers as options on the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. Depending on household income, there will be new tax credits to help lower the costs for some.

Monday, WCIA-3 News is holding a Healthcare Awareness Day. From 5 am - 10 pm, we'll have special coverage on all of our newscasts about the new plan.
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