health insurance

WUIS

The federal government cut the advertising budget for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A health care group says that means more people have to spread the word about open enrollment. 

Claudia Lenhoff, executive director of Champaign County Health Care Consumers, said the federal government has cut the advertising budget for the ACA by 90 percent this year.

"That means across the country people won’t be seeing some kind of ads in different media," Lenhoff said.

Flickr user Michael Chen "Pills" (CC BY 2.0) bit.ly/1RgH2Na

Illinois consumers who buy coverage through the Affordable Care Act exchange could see prices increase by as much as 43 percent next year.

The Chicago Tribune reports that several health insurance carriers proposed double-digit increases in rates released Thursday under what's often referred to as the “Obamacare'' exchange. Health Alliance Medical Plans, which offered coverage mostly in central and southern Illinois this year, is proposing rate increases of as much as 43 percent.

WUIS

The failure to pass a real budget is driving up the cost of Illinois government. The state hasn’t been paying its bills for employee health care — and interest penalties now exceed $500 million dollars.

It’s no secret credit card companies make their money when people don’t pay their bills in full. Those interest rates cause even a modest bill to grow quickly.

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

A Springfield medical group is requiring patients insured by the state to pay half of their expected surgery bills up front.

The State Journal-Register reports that the requirement from the Orthopedic Center of Illinois comes at a time when payments for the care of state workers, retirees and dependents insured through the State Employees' Group Insurance Program total $3.66 billion - and are overdue a year and a half or more.

Those delays have grown amid the lack of a permanent state budget.

Flickr user Michael Chen "Pills" (CC BY 2.0) bit.ly/1RgH2Na

An Illinois law that takes effect January first guarantees contraceptive coverage free of co-pays.

The federal Affordable Care Act already provides for that, but some insurers have managed to skirt requirements and have not covered all methods of birth control, according to Representative Elaine Nekritz. 

The Northbrook Democrat sponsored that law the Governor signed over the summer.

“The legislation would also allow and in fact require that a woman could get 12 months of contraception in one visit to the pharmacy,” Nekritz said.

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