In the new marketplace all policies will cover medical services, prescription drugs, emergency care, and hospitalization, mental care and lab services. The people of Illinois have a wide choice of plans and prices to choose from. Federal subsidies will further bring down the premiums.
"There are really good options for folks throughout the state," said Illinois Department of Insurance Director Andrew Boron. "We're seeing some really robust choices."
"We're trying to offer plans that meet consumer need and expand access to cost-effective health care," said Kurt Kossen, vice president of retail markets for Health Care Service Corporation, the operator of Blue Cross plans in Illinois and four other states.
Insurers managed to keep prices down by entering into contracts with a smaller network of hospitals and doctors than the normal standard ones, consumers should make sure the doctors and hospitals of their choice come under their insurance cover when they buy their policies.
So far it has been impossible to compare prices on the federal HealthCare.gov website due to the glitches and delays due to which people have not been able to shop for insurance. The federal government has released prices for specific situations - like a 27 year old, a 50 year old or a family of two with two children.
A Kankakee family of four in which the parents are both 30 years old has 19 choices of silver plans ranging from a Blue Cross plan priced at $586 a month to an Aetna plan priced at $1,128 a month. Tax subsidies could bring down those costs depending on family income.
A 27-year-old in Champaign can choose from 14 silver plans ranging from a $218 a month Blue Cross plan to a $312 a month Land of Lincoln Health plan. A 50-year-old in Edwardsville has a choice of 11 silver plans ranging from a $316 a month Coventry Health Care plan to a $467 a month Land of Lincoln Health plan.
Costs also change as insurance companies can bargain with hospitals and negotiate the best deals.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Carla K. Johnson, 6th October 2013