ACA

"041/365 - April 29, 2009" By Flickr User Morgan / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois consumers who buy health insurance on the marketplace created by President Barack Obama's overhaul will find less choice than ever when they pick a policy for next year.

The lack of competition is felt nationally. A new analysis by The Associated Press and Avalere Health finds about one-third of U.S. counties will have only one health marketplace insurer next year.

In Illinois, last time around, there were three or more marketplace insurers offering plans for 2016 in all counties.

"stethoscope" by flickr use rosmary (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois insurance regulators are reminding customers of Land of Lincoln Health that they must enroll in a new health insurance policy with a different company by the end of the month or they'll have a gap in coverage.

Land of Lincoln began shutting down in July after crippling financial losses.

The 3-year-old nonprofit's failure left 49,000 Illinois policyholders searching for new coverage.

"Electronic Stethescope" By Flickr User Ted Eytan / (CC BY 2.0)

Higher prices and fewer choices on the Illinois "Obamacare" marketplace will make choosing a health plan for 2017 a potentially frustrating experience for families who buy their own coverage.

The Illinois Department of Insurance released information Wednesday on rates it submitted to federal officials. Statewide, the average rate increase for a typical benchmark plan is 43 percent.

In eight counties, only Blue Cross Blue Shield will sell individual coverage.

Aetna / @aetnahelp, twitter.com

Aetna is leaving the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange in Illinois for 2017. That further reduces competition in the state.

Aetna's announcement late Monday leaves six companies selling plans for next year to individuals and families on the Illinois ACA marketplace. Illinois Department of Insurance spokesman Michael Batkins says two insurers remain selling plans to small businesses. 

The announcement follows UnitedHealthcare's departure from the Illinois exchange. And Chicago-based Land of Lincoln Health is folding after suffering heavy losses. 

hhs.gov

It’s time to sign up or pay up. The deadline for getting an insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act is Sunday. 

You either have health insurance Monday or face fines -- big fines, starting at $695. Kathleen Falk is the Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She says there are a lot of reasons people haven’t registered yet, including still not being convinced they can finally get an insurance company to cover them.

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