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Illinois Legislators Miss Obamacare Approval Deadline

Illinois lawmakers missed a Jan. 1 deadline to approve a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Without its own exchange, the state forfeits millions of federal dollars while leaving consumers vulnerable to paying more for insurance.

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Credit state of Illinois
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Illinois was facing dual deadlines last month when lawmakers made a final effort to create its own marketplace. The first was the looming New Year---which they blew past last week, losing out on as much as $270 million.

The second deadline comes from a case waiting to be heard in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, which has the potential to strip subsidies from consumers in states without their own health exchanges, like Illinois.

Mark Rust is a healthcare attorney based in Chicago. He says this could have major consequences for the thousands who've signed up for coverage with help from the government.

"Because most of them fall within income ranges where the purchase of insurance would be very difficult, if not impossible."

The next deadline for enrolling in plans under Obamacare is Jan. 15, for coverage beginning in February.

Copyright 2015 WNIJ Northern Public Radio

Hannah covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio. She previously covered the statehouse for The Daily Line and Law360, and also worked a temporary stint at the political blog Capitol Fax in 2018.