Healthcare advocates are celebrating the opening of Illinois' insurance marketplace, where those without coverage will be able to shop for plans under the Affordable Care Act starting today. But they're also trying to temper expectations. IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports:
Even as the most visible part of the federal healthcare overhaul takes effect, people are confused about it. A survey from the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund shows six out of ten Illinois residents don't know about "Get Covered Illinois."
The head of the Illinois Campaign for Better Healthcare, Jim Duffett, says he's been doing outreach on it for months.
"You're not going to get a health care chip implanted in your arm. There's no such thing as death panels."
But at the same time, he's stressing that while Oct. 1 is a big day for the government to get the marketplace up and running, there's no rush for those who want to buy insurance on it.
"Go home, talk to your family, you know, look at your budget."
He says the real target date is Dec. 15, the deadline people need to have signed up for a plan in order for it to kick in as soon as possible.
Support Your Public Radio Station