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Monday, 23 December 2013 17:07

Get Covered Illinois flooded with calls

CHICAGO (AP) - A crush of health insurance shoppers in Illinois have been calling a telephone help line set up to answer their questions, as an important deadline looms for the nation's health law.
 
   More than 1,600 people called the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk over the weekend. That's more than double the call volume from the previous weekend. The state's health insurance website saw more than 26,000 visitors over the weekend, an increase of 4,000 visitors from the weekend before.
 
   Monday had been the deadline to sign up for consumers who wanted coverage upon the start of the new year.
 
   But the Obama administration effectively extended that deadline for signing up for insurance by a day, giving people in 36 states, including Illinois, more time to select a plan.
 
Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Federal officials say more than 7,000 Illinois residents signed up for insurance coverage in the first two months of the troubled HealthCare.gov website.

Enrollment figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show the pace picking up for President Barack Obama's new health insurance markets.

But the Illinois tally is still less than 30 percent of what federal officials originally projected the state's enrollment would be after two months. Illinois is relying on the federal website because the Legislature didn't approve a state-run marketplace

Consumers face a Dec. 23 enrollment deadline if they want to have coverage to start Jan. 1.

In October, when the website was barely working, only 1,370 Illinois residents managed to select a health insurance plan and enroll.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that only 751 Missouri residents selected a health insurance plan through a federally run online marketplace during the first month of its troubled launch.

HHS released the figures Wednesday. The department said the insurance exchange had about 14,100 completed applications from Missouri from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2. Those applications sought coverage for about 28,000 people.

The federal government did not say how many of the people selecting a health plan had started paying premiums.

Nationally, HHS says fewer than 27,000 people signed up for health insurance through the federal exchange.

The federal health care overhaul set up online marketplaces to help people find affordable insurance, but the rollout of the HHS website has been rocky from the start.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is discouraging Missouri residents from signing up for health insurance under a new online marketplace.

People can begin enrolling for insurance Oct. 1 under several options that will be offered by a federally run health insurance exchange. The online shopping site is a key part of the 2010 federal health care law signed by President Barack Obama.

Kinder, a Republican, has fought against the federal health care law. He said Monday that Missouri residents should actively resist it by refusing to sign up for coverage through the insurance exchange.

Specific insurance policy options and prices aren't known yet in Missouri, although they are in some other states. That's partly because a Missouri law prohibits state officials from taking steps to implement an insurance exchange.

 

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Senate has approved a measure that would create a state-governed "insurance exchange" so individuals and small businesses can shop for health care coverage as required by President Obama's health law.

Lawmakers voted Thursday 37-19 to send the House a bill establishing the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace.

The exchange will guide people through the purchase of health and dental plans. It will also help qualified businesses enroll employees in health insurance plans.

The Affordable Care Act requires that nearly all Americans have health insurance beginning in 2014 or pay a penalty. New marketplaces are scheduled to be operating by October.

Illinois will begin an exchange this year through a federal partnership. Gov. Pat Quinn hopes to establish a state-run marketplace for 2015.

 

Published in Local News

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