healthcare

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A bigger portion of older people's income could be going to healthcare costs next year.

This change is based on something seemingly unrelated: Low gas prices.

Each year, the federal government releases what's called a "consumer price index," that lays out the amount of inflation observed in the U.S. economy.

Social Security and other government beneficiaries will receive a cost of living increase tied to inflation. But economists this year predict there will be no cost of living adjustment, known as a COLA, because gas prices have been so low.

Illinois could lose $678 million in health insurance subsidies this year in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Worst case scenario for Illinois: More than 270,000 people will lose the federal subsidies that help them pay for health insurance. That’s according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Opponents of the federal health care law argue the subsidies are illegal in states like Illinois that rely on the federal government to run their health insurance exchanges. 

State Farm / Blue Cross and Blue Shield

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.

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Confused about Obamacare? You're not alone. Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting January 1, 2014, or else they will be liable for a tax penalty. But many people aren't sure if they qualify and they have no clear idea of how much insurance might cost.

WNIJ can help. By entering data like zip code, income, age, family size and other factors into the Obamacare Calculator below, users can get estimates of the tax subsidies and insurance premiums available to them if they purchase insurance through the marketplaces, or exchanges.

state of Illinois

Polls show that many Americans without health insurance still don’t know that the Affordable Care Act requires them to get it.

And many of the uninsured don’t know that low-income people can get federal subsidies.

Governor Pat Quinn’s administration is trying to bring folks up to speed through a multi-million dollar advertising campaign.

It's called “Get Covered Illinois.”

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