Federal grant to help popularize state health insurance exchange
Last week, Illinois received a $115 million federal grant designed to help the state build and promote a functioning health insurance exchange for residents. The exchange is a mandatory part of the Affordable Care Act, which rules that all states must have a working exchange in place by 2014. Several states have opted to oppose this provision of the controversial health care law, in which case the federal government has taken the responsibility of establishing an exchange program in these states. Illinois is among the states that has opted to build its own health insurance exchange in order to better accommodate the needs of residents.
Awareness may be key to success of the exchange
The state plans to have a functioning health insurance exchange in place by January 1, 2014. This exchange will begin open enrollment in October of this year. The problem, however, is that there is still a great deal of uncertainty among Illinois residents concerning their eligibility for the exchange and the subsidies being offered by the federal government that will help pay for coverage. In order to address this issue, Illinois will be using a significant portion of the grant it has been provided with on a marketing endeavor for the health insurance exchange.
Marketing will help expose people to the benefits of the exchange
The marketing campaign for the exchange is meant to raise awareness about the coverage that can be found through the program. The endeavor will also highlight eligibility information, helping Illinois consumers better understand who can receive coverage through the exchange and whether or not they can be considered eligible for federal subsidies. State officials expect that more than 500,000 people will receive coverage through the health insurance exchange in its first year. This goal is only likely to be met if consumers are made aware of the coverage they can receive, hence the launch of the marketing campaign.
Uninsured consumers may face fines for going without coverage
The campaign is scheduled for launch in summer of this year. State officials hope to raise awareness concerning the state-run health insurance exchange and the benefits that can be had through its services. State officials are also likely to raise awareness concerning one of the more controversial aspects of the Affordable Care Act: Beginning in 2014, those without health insurance coverage will be faced with a fine until they purchase the coverage mandated by federal law.