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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — While states implement health insurance marketplaces this fall, Vermont is also eyeing a bigger goal that more fully embraces government-funded health care.

The state plans a 2017 launch of the nation's first universal health care system. It's a sort of a modified Medicare-for-all.

The plan is seen as especially ambitious in the current atmosphere surrounding health care in the United States, with some states and some in Congress balking at the federal health overhaul.

National experts say Vermont's plan has gone unnoticed amid the national debate over the federal law.

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin is continuing to vow to make Vermont a place where "health care is a right and not a privilege."

Published in National News
Saturday, 05 October 2013 08:40

Thousands visit Illinois' online marketplace

CHICAGO (AP) — More than 150,000 people have visited a state website to learn if they qualify for Medicaid or to buy health insurance on a new online marketplace.

The marketplaces are a key part of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, which were launched Tuesday.

Kelly Sullivan is a spokeswoman for Illinois' site, Get Covered Illinois.

She said as of Friday, about 12,000 people have submitted applications for Medicaid after completing an online screening tool.

But glitches continue on the federal site where Illinoisans may comparison shop for insurance. The government has said it's working to address the problems.

Sullivan says the state is working on educating residents about the health care law and will step up advertising once the federal site can handle increased demand.

Published in Local News
Saturday, 28 September 2013 10:25

Snags a concern as Ill. health marketplace opens

CHICAGO (AP) — Days before the launch of President Barack Obama's health care law, Illinois officials say there will be snags as the new health insurance marketplace opens Tuesday.

Officials insist none of the problems will prevent anyone from getting insurance by the start of the new year. But some acknowledge there's a risk people may be discouraged by delays and glitches and give up on the program.

The hurdles include a lag in completing the certification of hundreds of workers who've been trained to help consumers sign up for coverage. So most won't be able to assist people with the process initially.

There are also software problems that are delaying the transfer of applications to the Medicaid program.

People have until Dec. 15 to sign up for coverage that starts Jan. 1.

Published in Local News

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