Health care marketplace opens October 1

By WEEK Producer

September 30, 2013 Updated Sep 30, 2013 at 7:04 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Many republicans who are pushing for a government shutdown are doing so in the hopes of stopping Obamacare.

However, President Obama has made it clear that even with a shutdown the new health insurance exchange opens for enrollment on Tuesday.

Those who are un-insured, or don't like their current policy, can go shopping for more affordable coverage on www.healthcare.gov.

"Depending on their income level they may be eligible for Medicaid or they may be available for advanced premium tax credit or cost sharing reduction,” said Kelly Stewart, program manager for ACA in person counselor program. “They'll be able to look at all of their options and decide what works best for them."

You cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition and insurers cannot put lifetime limits on benefits.

"Everyone needs to have coverage by 2014 or they will pay a penalty,” Steward explained.

Local health care facilities have several employees certified to assist with the marketplace. Pekin Hospital currently has three certified employees. They will eventually have 18 certified employees.

Senior Vice President Steven Hall said many patients that come to Pekin Hospital are uninsured.

"We consider it important for those people,” Hall said. “They come to our hospital. They are loyal Pekin residents, so we wanted to be available for them."

There are four categories to choose from: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

The prices vary on the plans. Bronze plans have a lower premium but a higher co-pay each time you visit a doctor, fill a prescription or have a procedure.

Platinum plans charge the highest premium but provide more care before the patient has to pay out of pocket.

The marketplace opens October 1 but people have until March 15 to access the website and decide which plan works for them.

 

To sign up for an appointment with an ACA counselor at Pekin Hospital you can call (309) 353-0424.

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