Illinois has until the end of the year to take advantage of federal funds to set up its own health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Illinois is one of 36 states that relied on the federal government to host its exchange in the first enrollment period. Federal funds are available to states that choose to set up their own exchanges by the end of 2014. Gov. Pat Quinn says while he favors a state-based marketplace, he says the current model has worked.
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“Whether it’s a partnership as we have now, or a state-run program, state-run exchange, either way, our job is to get as many people as possible in health coverage in our state,” Quinn said. Quinn disputes claims that without a state-based exchange, premiums on insurance plans that Illinoisans can receive will go up. While legislation has passed in the Illinois Senate to set up a state-run marketplace, it has never been considered in the House.