News from Chicago Tribune:

Keith Kelly knew buying health insurance would be complicated. So the 55-year-old Naperville man skipped the federal enrollment website and asked for help from someone he knew: an insurance salesman.

Kelly told insurance agent Robert Slayton about his underactive thyroid, his need for a chiropractor and other health specifics. After a briefing on deductibles, copays, drug costs and other insurance provisions, Kelly and his wife settled on a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan for which the couple pays about $ 700 per month.

“There are so many variables, and (Slayton) put them into easily understandable piles for us to go through and make our own informed decisions with his help,” Kelly said.

Insurance agents have so far played a limited role signing people up for Affordable Care Act insurance in Illinois, where the state has focused on federally funded navigators to inform people about their options and help them buy plans or enroll in Medicaid.

But with future funding for the navigator program uncertain,……….. continues on Chicago Tribune.

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