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Governor Quinn says Illinois 'Obamacare marketplace' are 25% below HHS estimates

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In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn announced today that the rates for the benchmark plans that will be offered on the "Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace" are more than 25 percent below U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates. The state of Illinois will be introducing the "Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace" or better known as the "Obamacare marketplace."

One of the most essential pieces of the "Obamacare Marketplace" or the official title, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), is the implementation of the "health insurance marketplace" beginning Oct. 1 and close March 31. However, for coverage to begin Jan. 1, customers must enroll by Dec. 15.

Governor Quinn said that Illinois residents will have access to at least 34 plans and that the rates will be a slow as $120 per month for a 25-year old in Chicago. Illinois is awaiting the final federal approval for 165 health plans that are expected to be offered by eight insurers as options on the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace.

Governor Quinn said that all health insurance plans offered through the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace are "designed to meet the needs of individuals, families and small business owners across the state."

Governor Quinn added, "Starting in October, Illinois residents will be able to select a plan that is affordable and meets the healthcare needs of their families. The number and quality of affordable health plans that will be offered through the Illinois Marketplace is impressive."

The differences in the plans will be lower premium rates with higher out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance. For example, one plan that has the lowest proposed monthly rate for a bronze plan for a 25-year-old is $120 in Chicago or $128 in Peoria; for a 40-year-old it would be $152 in Chicago or $163 in Peoria; and for 60-year old consumer it would be $323 in Chicago or $346 in Peoria.

"With the launch of the Marketplace hundreds of thousands of consumers in Illinois will also have access to financial support to help pay for health insurance," Governor Quinn said. "This means they have access to health coverage that meets their budget, keeps them healthy and gives them peace of mind."

Individuals and families with income between 138 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level may receive subsidies on a sliding scale if they obtain coverage through the Marketplace. For example:

  • A single 30-year old, with a household income of $23,000 could be eligible for a subsidy that could bring their monthly cost to $44 in Peoria or $69 in Chicago
  • A family of 4, parents aged 40 with 2 children, with a household income of $60,000 could be eligible for a subsidy that could bring their monthly cost to $150 in Peoria or $234 in Chicag

The Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace is the official online shop where consumers can compare all health insurance plans side-by-side; get help from a local expert trained to educate them about their options; and apply for financial assistance to bring down costs.

Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron said that they are pleased with the "numerous options that will be available through the Illinois Marketplace. Through the Marketplace, the vast majority of Illinoisans will be able to compare up to 34 plans and premiums side-by-side and, for many, have access to financial help to lower the cost of the plans.

"The Marketplace website will make the process of shopping for health coverage more transparent and will allow residents to make side-by-side comparisons when considering health care options," added DOI Director Andrew Boron.

All plans offered on the health insurance marketplaces must provide coverage for the same set of essential health benefits. These health benefits include: (1) ambulatory patient services, (2) emergency services, (3) hospitalization, (4) maternity and newborn care, (5) mental health/substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment, (6) prescription drugs, (7) rehabilitative/habilitative services & devices, (8) laboratory services, (9) preventive & wellness services & chronic disease management, and (10) pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

Four factors can affect the premium rate: age, area of the state in which the person resides, whether the person uses tobacco, and how many people are covered by the plan. Subsidies and tax credits may lower costs further for many individuals and families. In addition, if a company does not spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on medical care, policyholders will receive rebates

Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace Director Jennifer Koehler said "The recommended quality health plans will provide a broad range of comprehensive coverage options for customers of the Illinois Marketplace. When consumers calculate the subsidies that will be available through the Marketplace, they will see that we are entering a new era in which health care will be more affordable than ever."

The state recommended plans from eight insurers, including Land of Lincoln, a new Illinois company:

  • Aetna Life Insurance Company
  • Coventry Health and Life Insurance Company
  • Coventry Health Care of Illinois, Inc.
  • Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc.
  • Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company (Blue Cross)
  • Humana Health Plan, Inc.
  • Humana Insurance Company
  • Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Company

The Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace is the official online shop will be announced just prior to Oct. 1 so that consumers will have adequate time to select the plan that fits their needs.

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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns. John is an unpaid volunteer and social media advisor at Robin Kelly for Congress.