Illinois lawmakers missed a Jan. 1 deadline to approve a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Without its own exchange, the state forfeits millions of federal dollars while leaving consumers vulnerable to paying more for insurance.
Illinois was facing dual deadlines last month when lawmakers made a final effort to create its own marketplace. The first was the looming New Year---which they blew past last week, losing out on as much as $270 million.
Illinois may soon run its own healthcare marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The General Assembly is working against a New Year's deadline to create its own exchange. That, or risk losing millions of dollars from the federal government. When the Affordable Care Act went into effect last year, Illinoisans began signing up for healthcare in a marketplace technically run by the federal government.
The U.S. Supreme court agreed to take up a case that could put the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy. But Illinois health care advocates still urge residents to check out their options.
The Supreme Court expects to rule on whether federal subsidies can be given to residents in states, like Illinois, that did not create their own online marketplaces. In the meantime, subsidies to help cover the cost of insurance will still be available.
The open enrollment period for 2015 started over the weekend and will last until mid-December.
The Illinois Department on Aging says seniors and disabled people can get free help enrolling in Medicare now through early December.
Agency Director John Holton says deciding on coverage options can be overwhelming. Counselors from the agency's Senior Health Insurance Program can help beneficiaries and caregivers understand their options.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield and State Farm have partnered to offer individual health insurance policies.
In five states, including Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield will offer health plans that State Farm clients can purchase. Some of those plans will be on Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges.
Open enrollment beings Nov. 15, with health coverage becoming effective Jan. 1, 2015.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released numbers for the first five months of enrollment under the federal Affordable Care Act. According to a news release, 113,733 people enrolled in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace.