Illinois Unveils Healthcare Marketplace

Oct 1, 2013

The most visible part of the Affordable Care Act has arrived. Illinois residents without insurance will be able to go to the "Get Covered Illinois" website to begin shopping for healthcare plans.  

Credit state of Illinois

The unveiling of the marketplace will also be the first reveal of how much coverage under Obamacare will cost.

That's largely remained a mystery; though Gov. Pat Quinn's administration released some figures, the details were sparse.

The marketplace will take into account the age and gender of someone looking for coverage, as well as where they live and the type of plan they want. Bronze plans will have the lowest premiums but will cost more out of pocket; platinum plans are the opposite.

The director of the Illinois Campaign for Better Healthcare, Jim Duffett, says shoppers will have plenty of help.

"There's going to be online process, people will be able to call an 800 number and talk with folks, I know we'll be activities and public libraries and communities of faith and community colleges," Duffett said.

Illinois doesn't have all of its helpers fully certified on time for the rollout.  But Duffett says there's no need to rush; the deadline to apply for a plan is in March.

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report.