Open enrollment to buy health coverage for 2015 has ended. Under the Affordable Care Act, most Americans must have health insurance or pay a penalty when they file their tax returns. Many uninsured Illinois residents will be faced with this penalty for the first time when they file their 2014 taxes this year. To give those who were unaware of the penalty (and have to pay up) a chance to enroll in a plan for 2015 (and avoid paying the full penalty next year), healthcare.gov has created a special enrollment period from March 15 to April 30. If you need help choosing coverage, give GetInsured a call — one of our certified brokers can sign you up!
What will my health insurance cover? And what will it cost? The answers depend on where in Illinois you live — Chicago to East St. Louis, Rockford to Springfield — because different plans are offered in different areas. But there are a few things all residents of Illinois need to know to choose the right coverage.
When can I buy health insurance?
You can buy coverage and apply for tax credits
anytime during the year if you experience a qualifying event. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait until the next annual open enrollment period, which starts November 1, 2015.
Can I get tax credits to help pay for health insurance in Illinois?
501,000 people in Illinois can get tax credits to help make health insurance more affordable. To find out if you might be eligible for a tax credit, you’ll first have to choose a qualifying event.
How do I decide which health insurance plan is right for me?
You can get expert, personalized help choosing the right plan and claiming tax credits here on GetInsured.
Illinois and Healthcare Reform
Here are some questions you may have about how the Affordable Care Act works in the Land of Lincoln.
Where can I buy an ACA plan in Illinois?
Illinois does not have its own state-based marketplace. It is served by the federal government’s site, healthcare.gov. To get help shopping there, give GetInsured a call — we’re an approved partner.
Who can get Medicaid or CHIP in Illinois?
Illinois expanded its Medicaid program, so now most adults and children from lower-income households are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. Disabled adults and many pregnant women with somewhat higher incomes are also eligible. To find out if you qualify, check the Illinois Application for Benefits Eligibility.
Do smokers pay more for health insurance in Illinois?
Yes, if you use tobacco you may have to pay up to 50 percent more for your health insurance. However, most plans have been charging premiums that are only about 10 percent higher, so smokers can probably find an affordable plan.
Are chiropractic services covered?
Many Illinois plans cover up to $1,000 worth of chiropractic visits per year. Read your plan’s summary of benefits to see what’s covered.
What about occupational therapy?
This is one of the rehabilitative services included in all ACA plans. Occupational therapy can help restore your health after illness or injury. Check your plan’s benefits or call your insurance company for specific details about your coverage.
Is weight-loss surgery covered?
Illinois is one of the states where health plans often include coverage for bariatric, or weight-loss, surgery for obesity. As always you’ll want to check your plan materials or call your insurance company for details about what’s covered.
Which Insurance Companies Offer Qualified Health Plans in Illinois?
You can find information about plans from these carriers when you shop on GetInsured.
How Do I Find a Licensed Health Insurance Broker in Illinois?
You can check a broker’s license through the Illinois Department of Insurance. Or give GetInsured a call and one of our certified brokers can assist you.
Illinois Health Insurance Facts & Figures
|Largest Increase in Premiums for the Same Plan, from 2014 to 2015:||+23 percent|
|Largest Decrease in Premiums for the Same Plan, from 2014 to 2015:||-6 percent|
|Uninsured Illinois Residents (pre-ACA Marketplaces):||1.6 million|
|Uninsured Illinois Residents Eligible for Tax Credits:||501,000|
|Illinois Residents Purchasing Own Health Insurance (Without Other Coverage):||648,000|
|Illinois Residents With Only Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance:||6.2 million|
|Illinois Residents With Only Medicaid or CHIP Coverage:||1.8 million|
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey and the Kaiser Family Foundation
If you’re looking to buy affordable health coverage in Illinois, call GetInsured. We’ll make shopping for health insurance easy.
Updated March 4, 2015, 1:30pm