Although the grand opening of the Affordable Care Act is only a week away, Illinois is still waiting on the federal government to approve the insurance plans that will be available through it. Even so, the governor today announced it will cost less to get coverage than originally expected.
Illinois submitted 165 different insurance plans to the federal government. Until the feds sign off on them, it's impossible for someone looking to buy insurance from the Obamacare "marketplace" to know how much they should plan to spend.
Still, Gov. Pat Quinn says the insurance rates will cost 25-percent less than previously estimated.
The Illinois Campaign for Better Healthcare's Jim Duffett says it's news that should quiet fears about the federal healthcare overhaul's costs.
"Consumers from across the state are going to be able to choose from dozens and dozens and dozens of different plans, and they'll be able to compare plans side by side," Duffett says. "So the big ruckus about rate shock rate shock has basically turned into rate crock from the other side."
But David From, with conservative group Americans for Prosperity, says "one of the ways they're driving down costs of these policies is by greatly restricting the number or providers and hospitals that are in a network, to the point that it could still put more cost on these policy holders, due to the fact - if they have a complex medical procedure or need some specialized care."
From says uninsured people can buy cheaper plans right now, though again, it's a tough comparison to make without coverage details.
The governor's office says come next month, a 25-year-old Chicago resident will be able to buy insurance off Illinois' marketplace for $120 a month; it'll cost another $8 for someone the same age who lives in Peoria.