CHICAGO (AP) - It's time to get ready to shop for health insurance for many Illinois residents.
President Barack Obama's health law requires nearly everyone to have insurance starting in 2014, and a new online marketplace is set to open Oct. 1 to make shopping for insurance easier.
The build-up to next week's launch in Illinois has been filled with uncertainty. Officials haven't revealed the prices of the plans. Consumers still don't know which insurers will offer coverage.
Here's what is known for sure: Oct. 1 is the first day people can start shopping for insurance on the new marketplace. Consumers have until Dec. 15 to sign up if they want coverage to start Jan. 1. After that, you can still enroll through the end of March to avoid penalties for 2014.