Obamacare

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

Officials say more than 68,000 Illinoisans have selected health plans using the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplace, up nearly 1,400 compared to the same time last year.

      

The sign-ups are happening as President-elect Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress discuss repealing the law known as "Obamacare.'' It's unclear what might replace the law if they do repeal it.

Meanwhile, open enrollment for HealthCare.gov began Nov. 1 and continues through Jan. 31. People must enroll by Dec. 15 if they want their coverage to start Jan. 1.

Illinois Department of Insurance

The Illinois Department of Insurance says 75 percent of Illinois counties will have only one or two insurance companies selling coverage on the health care marketplace for 2017.

In seven counties – McHenry, Lake, Kendall and Grundy in northern Illinois; plus Madison, St. Clair and Monroe in southern Illinois – Blue Cross Blue Shield will be the only insurer selling marketplace policies.

In Illinois, four insurers have dropped out of the “Obamacare” marketplace or folded, leaving five companies.

"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.

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