Affordable Care Act

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More than 121,000 Illinoisans selected health plans during the first month of the sign-up period for Obamacare. 

    

The Department of Health and Human Services released the data Tuesday.

It indicates how enrollment is going within Illinois, where residents are relying on the federal HealthCare.gov website for the second year.

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Illinois may soon run its own healthcare marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The General Assembly is working against a New Year's deadline to create its own exchange.  That, or risk losing millions of dollars from the federal government.  When the Affordable Care Act went into effect last year, Illinoisans began signing up for healthcare in a marketplace technically run by the federal government.

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The U.S. Supreme court agreed to take up a case that could put the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy. But Illinois health care advocates still urge residents to check out their options.

The Supreme Court expects to rule on whether federal subsidies can be given to residents in states, like Illinois, that did not create their own online marketplaces. In the meantime, subsidies to help cover the cost of insurance will still be available.

The open enrollment period for 2015 started over the weekend and will last until mid-December.

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Eleven state health centers will get about two million dollars in federal funding to support mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Health officials announced the funding through the Affordable Care Act Thursday. Health centers in Rockford, Chicago, Aurora, La Grange, and Rock Falls are receiving the funds.

The money will be used to hire professionals, and add mental and addiction health services.

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The Illinois Department on Aging says seniors and disabled people can get free help enrolling in Medicare now through early December.

Agency Director John Holton says deciding on coverage options can be overwhelming. Counselors from the agency's Senior Health Insurance Program can help beneficiaries and caregivers understand their options.

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