Updated May 24, 2018
Illinois runs a hybrid enrollment platform, a state and federal effort that combines the IT platform of HealthCare.gov with help desk support and customer service at the state level. The program is called Get Covered Illinois. Residents here can also use an independent agent, broker site or company to enroll directly while still taking advantage of cost-saving measures under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
You Can Use the Form Below To Get Actual Updated Price Estimates For 2017 – Your Contact Information Is Confidential
Requirement by Law
Despite the confusion in the media and politics regarding healthcare reform, it's important to understand that Obamacare’s individual mandate is in effect until the end of 2018. The IRS has stated that it will be enforcing the penalty for anyone who represents on their federal tax return that they were uninsured for the year. Under the Affordable Care Act, anyone who is not exempt from Obamacare must have a qualifying health insurance plan for the entire calendar year or else they could be penalized $695 per uninsured adult and $347.50 per uninsured child under 18 years of age in the household or 2.5 percent of the household's taxable income, whichever is the greater amount.
Enrollment in Illinois
The State of Illinois saw a six-percent decrease in enrollment numbers from 2017 to 2018. In 2018 approximately 335,000 people in Illinois enrolled in an Obamacare plan. During the 2017 open enrollment period, 356,403 people signed up for health insurance using the exchange, compared to over 388,000in 2016. The shift downward in enrollment can be contributed to several factors, increased costs, less carrier/plan options and the confusion caused by Congress' attempts to repeal and replace the law.
While Illinois customers can use Get Covered Illinois for enrollment, it may be beneficial to shop around using a comparison site like this one. Getting current quotes from multiple carriers can help you find a plan that adequately addresses your needs and fits your budget. Brokers can also help explain your options more clearly.
In 2018, Illinois customers will be able to choose from four carriers on the exchange, which is one fewer than last year due to Humana’s exit from the marketplace. They are:
- Celtic Insurance Co. (Ambetter)
- Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc.
- Health Care Service Corporation (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois)
Coverage from these insurers will vary widely across the state. Premium rate increases for 2018 will also vary, ranging from 15 to 46 percent among the different carriers.
Lower and middle-income families and individuals have access to financial assistance, including tax credits and subsidies, to help pay their healthcare costs. Approximately 79 percent of customers in Illinois qualified for premium subsidies in 2017. For more information about federal financial assistance, start the enrollment process today. Open enrollment for 2019 runs from November 1, 2018 to December 15, 2018 this year.
The state of Illinois currently does not have a state-run health exchange, where you can get quotes directly. Instead, the federal health exchange will direct you to a number of approved insurance brokers and exchanges. Some of these are privately owned. Others will direct you to publicly held, for-profit companies.
As a basis for comparison, we encourage you to get quotes from other insurance coverage providers. Specifically, you should have health insurance quotes from current providers, as a base for comparison against federal exchange-approved providers. This ensures that you have a better range of plans, pricing information and overall access to affordable healthcare benefits.
Obamacare in Illinois
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, makes healthcare insurance available to every American. During the Open Enrollment Period, which begins on November 1, 2016, people can review their options and sign up for health insurance at http://www.healthcare.gov. This is the online Federal Marketplace, where people can choose the plan and the price that's best for them.
If you live in Illinois, you can visit the Get Covered Illinois website, at http://getcoveredillinois.gov. Here, you can search the Illinois online marketplace for health insurance. If you have Medicaid, you're already covered and don't need to apply for Obamacare. If you already have an insurance plan you're happy with, you also don't need to apply.
But if your plan is expensive or doesn't provide enough coverage, you can review your Obamacare options. And, you can consider switching from your insurance to one of the Obamacare plans offered. You can also apply for health insurance coverage for a small business.
The Illinois website is easy to use. You follow the prompts and answer questions about your situation. The website tells you if you qualify for Obamacare. If you do, you can click Visit the Health Insurance Marketplace. Once there, you can:
- Create an account
- Pick and plan
You can also look at a checklist that will help you collect the documents you need to enroll. If you'd prefer, you can select an option that says Learn More First. There, you can answer questions that will narrow down your search; for example, if you're looking for insurance for your small business. You can also live chat with a representative on the website.
Obamacare provides insurance for pre-existing conditions and prevents insurance companies from dropping you. There's a mandate that all Americans have to be covered by January 1st of each year; however, open enrollment runs in 2016 until January 31, 2016.
You can use the links below to get quotes direct from national insurance providers.