Federal Approval of Illinois’ Insurance Exchange Expected

Illinois could receive federal approval of a key component of Obamacare as early as today.

Illinois needs the federal government’s okay before it can begin rolling out what’s known as an “insurance exchange”  — that’s a marketplace where the uninsured will be able to purchase coverage.

Government officials won’t say, but sources predict Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will give approval this afternoon during an appearance with Governor Pat Quinn.

AARP Associate State Director Jennifer Creasey  says the organization will help promote the exchange so people are ready to enroll when it opens in October.

CREASEY: “Under this they could go to one website, or go to one place, and shop for different insurance.  So the insurance products on the exchange will have to be different levels and offer different kinds of coverage, so that a person can compare and contrast the different plans out there and really find one that would meet their individual needs.”

Illinois has asked for a joint state and federal partnership for the first year of the exchange.

Lawmakers are trying to develop a new type of exchange for the future … in which Illinois would split from the feds.

-Amanda Vinicky

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