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What health reform means for the people of Illinois

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

An Illinois Navigator's Experience Finding Lower Premiums in the Marketplace

I decided I might as well enroll myself with a Qualified Health Plan on the Marketplace before I sat down as an In Person Counselor (with a client) so I tried for a few days right after Oct. 1.

Since the site was so slow, I decided to wait until some of the excitement wore off and tried again in mid-October. I sat down after dinner and put in an hour on the computer. I quickly verified my identity, similar to the online process for requesting your free credit report. I answered simple questions about what streets I have lived on, former cities I lived in, etc. They were all multiple choice questions, and I got them all right!

Then I was able to compare the plans for my county and sort them based on certain features: metal, HSA eligible, out-of-pocket costs, etc. At that point there are fewer plans to choose from and I checked off the "compare box" on three that I thought seemed to be a good fit. After looking at the plans, side by side I was able to click on a link with each that took me to the website for each plan so I could do a provider search. I entered my current doctor and to see if my doctor was in-network. This made it pretty easy for me to decide. The pages did load slowly so I folded laundry while they loaded.

Once I enrolled in health coverage, I had to decide to elect or not to elect to access dental. I went through the same process with the dental coverage, but did find that the links did not work for all the dental plans. I eventually decided on a plan and enrolled. Then I put the laundry away while it loaded and waited.

At the end, I got the page where it said my application was complete. I printed out the page along with my application ID# and am excited to let people know that my premiums are going down!

I self-pay for insurance now and will still do so in 2014. I currently pay just over $340 a month for health and dental. Starting in January, I will only pay $185.10 for health and dental. I make too much money for any tax subsidy, so even without assistance I am seeing a huge benefit. I still get to see the same doctor and dentist that I have had since I was a kid and really cannot complain too much. Buying insurance before privately took more time as I would have to research and deal with the insurance brokers and then the underwriters questioning of any of my possible health issues.

I look forward to helping my clients find affordable options on the Marketplace, too.

Joann Boblick
Certified In Person Counselor
La Grange, IL


  1. Thanks for the post. Some people are interested about dental saving plans and for them, I have some exciting offers provided by DentalSave. These are best for covering any dental treatment cost effectively.