Obamacare

"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. 

WUIS

The rate of Illinois residents with health insurance continues to grow.

In 2013, nearly 18 percent of Illinois adults didn’t have insurance.

The next year, the Affordable Care Act took effect. The rate of uninsured dropped to 15 percent that year.

Last year, it continued to fall.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control puts the figure at more than 10 percent. That insurance comes from Obamacare for many Illinoisans.

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.

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

Enrollment events are planned in Chicago as an important deadline approaches for President Barack Obama's health care law.

Sunday is the last day to sign up to buy private insurance on the marketplace for coverage in 2016.

Fines for being uninsured are rising and could average nearly $1,000 per household.

The penalties are the law's nudge to get healthy people into the insurance pool, helping keep premiums manageable for everyone.

Chicago enrollment events are planned Saturday at the Chicago Urban League and the Community First Medical Center.

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