Illinois’ online health insurance marketplace is up and running. Gov. Pat Quinn launched the state’s exchange, Get Covered Illinois, one of the components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) designed to help the uninsured get coverage. “That’s who this is all about, the people of Illinois, the everyday people who live from check to check,” Quinn said. “Who understand that the best thing we can possibly do in our state is have health and wellness for everybody.”
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Other long-time advocates for health care reform called the launch historic. “While some attempt to delay and obstruct and deny and repeal, we are not going back. In Illinois, we are going forward,” said William McNary, co-director of the consumer group Citizen Action Illinois. The governor’s office says the marketplace is for anyone in Illinois who has lost their insurance, couldn’t afford it, or have never had it but now has to meet the insurance requirement under the ACA. The enrollment period lasts until March 31, 2014. To begin receiving coverage by the beginning of next year, people must sign up by Dec. 15.