Saturday, Dec 7, 2013
Quinn Releases Health Insurance Rates for Illinois
WSIL -- The governor's office has released new health insurance rates under the Affordable Care Act, and they are 25 percent below federal estimates.
Sample prices released by the governor's office show Southern Illinois will see the highest rates in the state, but local health officials say the new law can still help many people.
"Huge opportunity for those who are uninsured to get good health coverage," said Miriam Mullison with the Jackson County Health Department.
It's a major opportunity for more than 40,000 uninsured residents in our region.
"Many people in Southern Illinois who are uninsured are going to qualify for the expanded Medicaid program, and they are going to have absolutely no out-of-pocket expenses," explained Mullison.
Rates will be based on many factors. People with lower income will receive more government help, but regions with lower populations will see higher rates.
"There are a lot of advantages in living in Southern Illinois but sometimes there are some disadvantages," said Mullison.
Sample rates show Cook County residents will pay between up to $70 less per month. State officials say the more populated area has more insurance providers and that drives down prices.
"They're competing to offer the best rates they can," said Illinois Health Care Spokesperson Mike Claffey.
Despite the higher rates in Southern Illinois ,he says the state still has some of the best rates in the country.
"The rates that have been offered in Illinois when we compare those to national average rates. We are coming in below the estimates," Claffey told News 3.
Open enrollment begins Oct. 1. Those who apply before Dec. 15 will qualify for health care benefits starting Jan. 1, 2014.
"If people have issues then we want them to come and seek assistance either through a local health department or a community health center," said Mullison.
Most Illinois residents will have 34 plans to choose from when the state health insurance marketplace goes live. Citizens will be able to sign up through a state website.
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