Illinois `Obamacare` navigators ready to help applicants - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Illinois `Obamacare` navigators ready to help applicants

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

At midnight, people will be able to log on, call in or sit down with an "Obamacare" navigator to see if the health care options are right for them. But, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about what to expect when the new law takes effect.

Miguel Rodriguez is one of roughly 1,200 people trained in the state of Illinois to help potential consumers look at their health care options through the Affordable Care Act.

After two weeks of training both on the federal and state level, these in-person counselors, navigators and assisters--all of which have the same level of training--will help people navigate the new "marketplace" system.

"There seems to not be enough information out there for our consumers, who we definitely want to make sure that they make a knowledgeable decision that's going to fit their price and their needs," Rodriguez says.

The website doesn't even go online until midnight October 1st, but that doesn't mean you have to sign up right away.

"We're definitely trying to get the word out there and let people know that even though the Marketplace does go online tomorrow, October 1st, they have until December 15th to get enrolled in the marketplace to have the benefits become effective January 1st, 2014," he explains.

If you miss the December 15th deadline, your coverage will not begin at the start of 2014.

Because the website isn't live yet, counselors have a bit of advice on what you can expect.

"They'll make it as simple as comparing apples to apples, side by side, so that they can compare the different health insurance plans that are available and then just go with the choice that they feel best fits for their health needs," says Rodriguez.

Some rates may not come immediately after your information is cross-referenced through the IRS. If not, you may be asked to visit the website or visit with a counselor, assister or navigator starting Tuesday.

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