Local health departments offer help on health care marketplace

By WEEK Producer

September 26, 2013 Updated Sep 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Small business owners looking to shop around in the federal online insurance marketplace will have to wait.

On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced the online exchange will not be available to small businesses until November 1.

However, paper applications will be available next Tuesday when the exchange opens to the public.

Meanwhile, Illinois Health Departments are offering free in-person counseling sessions for those who are confused on how the marketplace works.

On Thursday, the Peoria City/County Health Department met with local organizations that work with the uninsured to discuss the Affordable Care Act.

The big message was that everyone must have health insurance by January 1, whether it be Medicaid, coverage offered through your employer or personally obtained through the online exchange.

You can find the marketplace online at www.healthcarereform.Illinois.gov. To schedule a one-on-one counseling session in Peoria County, call (309) 679-6694.

Residents outside of Peoria County should contact their local health department.

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