Rep. Kelly announces online toolkit to help residents learn about Affordable Care Act

2013-09-27T19:30:00Z 2013-09-27T20:23:35Z Rep. Kelly announces online toolkit to help residents learn about Affordable Care ActFor The Times nwitimes.com
September 27, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., will offer information on the Affordable Care Act on her website at www.robinkelly.house.gov/ACA-toolkit, she announced in a news release.

The online toolkit is designed to help residents learn about the many benefits of the ACA and how to take advantage of them. The toolkit includes a link to the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace that opens Tuesday, as well as information for small businesses and help center hotlines for assistance in the application process.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about the ACA,” Kelly said. “This online toolkit will help my constituents sort out the facts from the myths, as well as provide them with access to the resources they need to make the right decisions on benefits.”

Parts of the Affordable Care Act have already taken effect, and many Illinois residents already are benefiting from it, Kelly said. In the 2nd Congressional District, 6,500 young adults up to age 26 have been able to remain on their parents' health plans. Up to 46,000 children are protected against pre-existing conditions exclusions. And since the ACA’s passage, more than 6,500 seniors in the district have received discounts worth $9.2 million on their prescription drugs.

According to Gov. Pat Quinn’s office, the vast majority of Illinois residents will have access to at least 34 plans, in addition to another 28 plans offered through employers. Consumers will be able to compare plans and premiums side by side. Health insurance plans offered through the marketplace will be categorized as bronze, which offer the lowest cost, to silver, gold or platinum, representing the highest cost. In addition, high deductible catastrophic plans will be available for young adults younger than 30 and certain other qualifying individuals.

Illinois’ rates are lower than many other states, Quinn’s office recently announced. For example, the lowest proposed monthly rate for a bronze plan for a 25-year-old in Chicago is $120. For a 40-year-old, it would be $152; and for a 60-year old consumer it would be $323.

Once consumers calculate the sliding scale subsidies that will be available, health care will become even more affordable, officials said.

According Quinn’s office, individuals and families with income between 138 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level may receive subsidies on a sliding scale if they obtain coverage through the marketplace. For example, a single 30-year old in Chicago, with a household income of $23,000 could be eligible for a subsidy that could bring their monthly cost to $69. A Chicago family of four, parents age 40, with two children, with a household income of $60,000 could be eligible for a subsidy that could bring their monthly cost to $234.

Throughout September, Kelly hosted three informational forums on the ACA in Chicago, University Park and Kankakee.

Kelly’s online toolkit will be updated frequently and can be accessed from her homepage at www.robinkelly.house.gov.

Constituents with additional questions on the ACA may contact Kelly’s district office at (708) 679-0078.

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