At least two insurers with plans to offer coverage in Illinois' new health marketplace are getting ready to launch community education meetings in the area.
URBANA — At least two insurers with plans to offer coverage in Illinois' new health marketplace are getting ready to launch community education meetings in the area.
Meetings will start next month, and one company says people need the information.
"There is a lot of confusion out there," says Ericka Williams, consumer products sales manager for Health Alliance Medical Plans.
The marketplace — a website on which people lacking health insurance can select coverage to comply with the Affordable Care Act and apply for premium assistance — will open for enrollment Oct. 1 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, another one of the six carriers that have applied to the state to offer coverage in the marketplace, has submitted six plan offerings at various levels of coverage, company spokesman Mike Deering said.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield launched an unbranded information campaign on Affordable Care Act coverage this past spring called "Be Covered Illinois" and will be hosting information seminars, he said.
Health Alliance's meeting series will cater to both its own current members and non-members alike, addressing changes coming up for people with coverage and those without, Williams said.
The meetings are targeted to people younger than age 65, because the marketplace isn't set up to offer insurance to anyone age 65 and older, she said.
For those who can't attend one of Health Alliance's community meetings, it will be available through a webinar sometime in September, Williams said. Watch for the date on Health Alliance's Affordable Care Act website: http://www.healthalliance.org/learnmore 
Community meetings/seminars coming up include:
For Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
— Sept. 10, 2:30 p.m. at Life Span Center, 11021 E. Country Road 800 N, Charleston.
— Sept. 10, 5:30 p.m. at Lakeland College, Neal Hall, Room 115., 5001 Lakeland Blvd., Mattoon.
Register: http://bit.ly/17NRK8l 
For Health Alliance Medical Plans:
— Sept. 17, 4-5 p.m. and 6-7 p.m., Turtle Run Golf Club, 332 E. Liberty Lane, Danville.
— Sept. 18, 4-5 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. at the Carle Forum, 611 W. Park St., U.
— Sept. 21, 11 a.m. to noon and 1-2 p.m., Carle Forum, 611 W. Park St., U.
If you plan to attend, an RSVP is encouraged by sending an email to MyHealthAlliance@healthalliance.org  or calling 1-877-933-0015