The uninsured population in the Land of the Lincoln has rapidly declined after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, as between 2010 and 2018, uninsured rates in Illinois fell by 50%. During this period more than 880,000 Illinoisans gained coverage, and even the state’s decision to expand Medicaid under the ACA has ensured more people have health insurance coverage. Though, the still uninsured population of the state should look for the right private individual health plan from the marketplace to stay protected and covered. The state operates a health insurance marketplace in partnership with the federal government called Get Covered Illinois.
The state runs Get Covered Illinois provides a portal where residents of the state can seek in-person assistance, and a help desk, whereas to enroll in a health plan or make changes in their existing plan, residents use HealthCare.gov. The federal government is currently offering a one-time COVID-related enrollment window that continues through August 15, 2021. People can use this enrollment window to enroll in a health or make changes in their plan without any qualifying event. Thus, residents of the state have a good chance to make the best use of the American Rescue Plan’s subsidy enhancements. The state is rich in history as well as in health insurance options for individuals, families, and low-income residents are concerned.
Vital Statistics of Illinois Health Insurance
- li>Illinois is the sixth most populous state in the U.S. having approximately 12.7 million people.
- 291,215 people enrolled in qualified health plans through the Illinois health insurance marketplace for 2021 coverage. However, in 2020 294,263 people signed up during the open enrollment period.
- The enrollment number for the year 2021 is likely to increase further because of the COVID-related enrollment period.
- More than 25,000 residents of Illinois enrolled in health plans during the first 2.5 months of the special enrollment period,
- The average monthly health plan premium for a 40-year-old in Illinois across all metal tiers is $517.
- The cheapest Silver health plan in Illinois for most people is the 2021 POS 3000 Elite Silver plan offered by Health Alliance.
- The cheapest Bronze plan in Illinois is WellFirst Bronze Value Copay 8500X plan.
Types of Individual Health Plans available in Illinois
There are different types of health insurance plans available in Illinois so that residents can choose the plan depending upon their age, area, health condition, and budget. Plans in the higher metal tier like the Gold plan have expensive monthly premiums but have lower out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Thus, Gold health plans are best for individuals who have high expected medical costs like an ongoing prescription. Whereas, the silver health plans are best for individuals having low income and having average medical costs. A Silver plan may be a cost-effective option for such individuals, as these plans are also eligible for cost-sharing reduction subsidies. This will further reduce the monthly premium for the individuals.
The lower metal-tier like Bronze health plans have cheap monthly premiums but have much higher cost-sharing, so members of this plan if require health care, then they have to pay more money from their pockets before their coverage kicks in. The Bronze plan should be obtained only by individuals who expect to have low health care costs and people who can pay the high cost-sharing at the time of medical emergency. Catastrophic health plans are available only for individuals under 30 years or individuals who meet certain exemption requirements.
Private Health Insurance Options in Illinois
Individuals who are not eligible for government-sponsored health plans based on their income can purchase private health plans directly from an insurance carrier. People need to consult with the carrier to check the health plans available in their area. Different health insurance portals are also operating that allow people to compare plans and choose the best option available. People can also seek the help and assistance of an insurance agent or broker. Health insurance brokers and agents sell health plans of different carriers so they can help people to compare plans of different carriers based on features and price and take decisions accordingly. The other options to purchase private health insurance plans are offered by any of the eight carriers through an online health insurance portal. People can also purchase a private individual health plan through the health insurance marketplace. People need to apply and enroll through the marketplace irrespective of whether they qualify for lower cost or not depending upon their income.
Average Cost of Health Insurance in Illinois by Metal-Tier
|Type of Metal-Plan||Premium for 21-Year||Premium for 40-Year|
Health Insurance Carriers in Illinois
In the year 2021, eight health insurance carriers are available on the health insurance exchange. People can choose a health plan of a carrier depending on the availability of the carrier in their area. Following health insurance companies are currently available in the state:
- Health Alliance
- Bright Health
- Cigna Healthcare
- WellFirst Health
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
- MercyCare Health Plans
- Ambetter of Illinois