The health care marketplace is up and running

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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This week, Illinois launched "Get Covered Illinois" to help provide affordable health insurance to currently uninsured residents of our state. Get Covered Illinois insurance plans will include essential benefits like doctor's visits, hospital stays and prescriptions for many individuals and families that currently face medical challenges without insurance coverage.

For Illinois residents who currently purchase health insurance but are struggling with high costs, Get Covered Illinois may offer more affordable insurance options, depending on the size of your family and your income. Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees may also be eligible for a health care tax credit to help provide insurance for their workers.

Get Covered Illinois' open enrollment began last week and goes through March 2014. For insurance coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014, you must enroll by Dec. 15 of this year.

To learn more, please visit: or call the toll-free Get Covered Illinois help desk: 866-311-1119 (open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

If you already buy your own insurance and want to know if you might be able to cut costs with this program (also referred to as the "marketplace"), you can learn more there.

Don Harmon
State Senator, 39th District

Reader Comments

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Mr. Middle  

Posted: October 12th, 2013 7:01 AM

@Ray...Yes we have. Much was made about the impact on the budget and its reduction to the deficit. The whole ACA was designed to fit into the current budget as more income and expenses. No income is earmarked specifically for programs. In general over the last 25 years G just spends whatever it can get its hands on. For example there is no SS trust fund. Sorry to break that news. So everything in this day and age it is always into a general fund.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: October 11th, 2013 10:32 PM

Do the ACA penalties, fines and taxes get dedicated to medical issues or are they just tossed into the general fund? I don't believe we have ever been told this.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: October 10th, 2013 9:20 AM

ACA was never meant to succeed. It is going to implode under its own weight and then the left will push through single payer. Government basically creates the problem and then comes up with the solution which invariably will be more government. This bill was passed by manipulating senate rules and lying to an uninformed public. No bill that is 20,000 pages is well thought out.

joeI from south oak park  

Posted: October 10th, 2013 8:36 AM

From the payment side the ACA poses some real problems for physicians. It takes 3 months of not paying premiums to get dropped from the plan, but the plan is only responsible for paying claims the first month of non payment. So for the next two months the doctor will verify that the patient has insurance and the insurance claims will be denied due to the patient not paying the premium leaving the doc holding the bag. Folks should think long and hard before contracting with marketplace plans.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: October 10th, 2013 6:39 AM

@Jim...its important that people understand what AHA is and is not. The whole system did not have to change to cover pre-existing claims. I have been bidding out insurance for a small company for 19 years and the last time I say a plan with a cap was 1997. BCBS did away with caps from 80% of their plans 10 years ago. Most group plans cover dependent children who are full time students. Its dubious to claim greatness in this for such things that should have been required anyway.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: October 10th, 2013 6:31 AM

@Hubert...actually not...To get a plan active by 1/1 you need to be completely by 12/15. Right now in Illinois there is more than the uninsured that must find a plan. In my in-laws case they where dropped from their plan like dozens of their friends who had a BCBS HSA. Their insurance runs out 12/31. As a small business person I am also looking a SHOP plans since my insurance got raised 59%. In 60 days 30M people need to sign up, that's 1/2M people a day. They had 4 years to prepare!

Hubert Gaskins from Tam[a  

Posted: October 9th, 2013 10:10 PM

Think a second before posting. Of course Mr. Harmon doesn't have become involved in the healthcare marketplace, because he already has a healthcare plan. Nothing changes for people who are already covered. The fact that the phones are busy is an indicator of public response as well as a need to upgrade the system. What's the panic, you have until March 31st to signup.

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: October 9th, 2013 8:27 PM

The Affordable Care Act provides that the folks with pre-existing conditions will not be denied coverage and there is no longer a lifetime cap.

Market Driven from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: October 9th, 2013 7:56 PM

Up and running is optimistic according to news reports. More like chugging slowly with a lot of '404 Errors' found.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: October 9th, 2013 10:06 AM

Mr Middle's experience with the "marketplace" raises another question. Sen. Harmon, are you, your family, your staff, & your cohorts in the IL legislature compelled to also sign up for Obamacare, or do you get to exempt yourselves like the President's other cronies??

Mr. Middle  

Posted: October 9th, 2013 6:18 AM

Mr Harmon how out-of-touch are you? Was this a pre-planned press release? As of this morning my 12th time to sign in and enter information for my in-laws was meet with massive issues. It has taken a week to actually get a login to work and now when I get past that screen it freezes. Try again it asks for information and the crashes. Try to load crashes. Now it just is not available at 5:45am!?! Do not advertise what is not working.

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