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State plan for ACA

SPRINGFIELD -- Come Tuesday, October 1, 2013, Illinois residents can start enrolling in health insurance plans as mandated by the Federal Affordable Care Act.
SPRINGFIELD -- Come Tuesday, October 1, 2013, Illinois residents can start enrolling in health insurance plans as mandated by the Federal Affordable Care Act. WCIA-3's Alexandrea Davis spoke with someone who's never been able to get insurance on his own and is looking forward to ACA taking hold.

"Changes have to be made in the healthcare system because it's totally inadequate."

Al Fitts says he has Type 1 diabetes, and with a previously-diagnosed condition, he wouldn't be able to get health insurance on his own.

"I've always had insurance through my spouse."

The state is awaiting final federal approval on the health plans expected to be offered through Get Covered Illinois.

"This is a good first step."

Next month, the online marketplace will help residents compare health insurance options from eight different carriers.

"They'll be able to put in a few pieces of information and that will tell them if they're eligible for the Medicaid program as well as if they're eligible for private insurance. And they'll be able to see directly on this website how much the full tax credit will be."

Illinois' residents will be able to compare plans and rates side-by-side to find an option which fits their budget and needs. Four factors can affect the premium rate including region, age, tobacco use and the number of people needing coverage. Individual qualifications will narrow those options from the 165 plans.

"For the build of the people, 95%, there's going to be 34 plans to choose from."

And the rates are expected to be 25% lower than U.S. Health and Human Services previously predicted.

"I thought that sounded very reasonable."

The plans will be categorized from lowest to highest cost with lower premiums having higher out-of-pocket expenses.

"People will definitely have a lot of choices and they'll be able to have the tools and the information they need through the marketplace to help make a decision about what's best for them."

From October 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, officials expect at least 300,000 people to enroll in healthcare coverage. For coverage to begin January 1, 2014, customers must enroll by December 15, 2013.
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