Health plans

Registration period open for health plans on the current ACA online portal

Average health insurance rates in Illinois through the Federal Affordable Care Act online marketplace trended for the fourth consecutive year for plans taking effect in January 2022.

But in Springfield-In counties across the region, monthly premiums for 2022 ‘silver’ plans will be 10% or more higher than 2021, according to a recent report from the Illinois Department of Insurance.

In Peoria– counties in the region, these premiums will increase between 6% and 10%.

For Rockford– counties in the region, the increases will be between 9% and 10%.

But an increase in federal grants funded by the US bailout, which further reduced the cost of premiums, has meant that most enrollees saw no net increase in out-of-pocket expenses in 2021, according to Stephani Becker, deputy director of health justice at the Chicago-based Shriver Center on the poverty law.

The improved grants will continue until 2022, she said.

The release of the Insurance Department’s report coincided with the start of the open registration period for Open registration goes through January 15, 2022, for plans that take effect in early 2022.

The increased subsidies have had a “major impact” for Illinois, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting job losses, Becker said.

Efforts are underway in Congress pass the president at Joe Biden The “Build Back Better” human infrastructure initiative, which would keep ACA grants at high levels for several years beyond 2022, Becker said.

There was an average 3% drop in premiums statewide for the second cheapest silver “benchmark” plans, the state’s insurance department said in a press release.

Rate cuts for the cheapest “gold” plans are also available this year in more counties across the state, the statement said.

Dana Popish Severinghaus, Acting Director of Illinois Insurance Department, said greater stability in state-level ACA insurance markets since the launch of coverage in 2015 could play a role in lowering rates.

Federal funding for registration awareness efforts in Illinois has increased since last year, from $ 300,000 To $ 4 million, said Popish Severinghaus.

The state also spends $ 2 million in public funds on advertising for the registration period, said Popish Severinghaus.

Illinois will have 11 issuers on the individual insurance exchange for plan year 2022, compared to eight for plan year 2021. The new issuers are Molina Healthcare from Illinois, Oscar Health Plan and UnitedHealthcare of Illinois.

All new transmitters serve residents of counties in the Chicago region and northeast Illinois.

The Springfield and Peoria zones will have the same two transmitters: Alliance for Health and Illinois Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The Rockford zone will have the same three transmitters: Illinois Blue Cross and Blue Shield, MercyCare HMO and Quartz HMO.

As part of the American rescue plan adopted by Congress and enacted by Biden in the spring, premiums on state-level scholarships have been reduced to $ 1 or zero for people below 150% of the federal poverty line.

Premium subsidies previously ended for individuals and families with incomes above 400% of the poverty line, but federal law capped premiums in those income brackets at 8.5% when they purchased plans. ” silver “.

And the percentage of income that can be paid for “silver” plans in income groups below 400% of the poverty level has been generally reduced by the US bailout, resulting in reduced out-of-pocket expenses, Becker said.

Enrollment in the state and federally funded Medicaid program has also increased during the pandemic, she said.

For adults without children in Illinois equal to or below 138% of the poverty line – the group was eligible for Medicaid under the ACA – enrollments increased by 8%, from 716,926 in december 2020 to 777,908 in June 2021, according to Illinois Department of Health and Family Services.

According to US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Due to a special nationwide enrollment period added during the year by the Biden administration, an additional 54,432 Illinoisans signed up for plans.

Eighty-five percent of Illinois residents who enroll through receive premium grants.

Contact Dean Olsen: [email protected]; (217) 836-1068;