Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

Illinois Residents Can Expect Big Raise in Health Insurance Costs

Photo courtesy of taxcredits.net
Photo courtesy of taxcredits.net

If Illinois residents can judge from Texas and Oklahoma, they can expect health insurance fees to rise by about 50 percent in the coming months. Chicago-based Health Care Service Corp owns Blue Cross in all three states, and they have requested a 53.7 percent increase in Texas and a 49.2 percent increase in Oklahoma, across its Affordable Care Act plans. It is not a sure thing that these price hikes will be approved, and if the exact numbers are not approved, what kind of rate hikes to expect instead.

Blue Cross is the most popular insurer in Illinois, as it is in Texas and Oklahoma. Mark Spencer, spokesman for HCSC said Illinois’ proposed hikes have not been made public yet. He said it is premature to speculate about the local price hikes since pricing is based on local conditions.

The Illinois Department of Insurance agreed that the rate plans proposed by Blue Cross and other insurers are still under review. It is up to the federal government to publish the new ACA rates, and are planning to do so for Illinois on August 1st, said the spokeswoman for the department, Anjali Julka.

Spencer would not comment on what the company would do if the requested rate hike was not granted. Last year Blue Cross pulled out of the health exchange in New Mexico when the state’s insurance regulators turned down HCSC’s proposal to raise their rates by 51 percent.

Blue Cross Raised Premiums by Almost 18 Percent for 2016

Healthcare Premiums Going Up in Illinois
Healthcare Premiums Going Up in Illinois

Residents of Illinois are seeing the cost of healthcare skyrocket for 2016, with some insurers charging as much, and in some cases even more, that 40 percent above last year.

The Affordable Health Care Act enters its third year with enrollment underway  since  November 1. The lowest-cost plans in most of Illinois counties saw a 15-20 percent rise this year, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance.

Blue Cross is especially in the dog house with consumers. The state’s largest health care insurance provider raised its premiums by an average of 17.8 percent on individual policies regardless of whether or not they were sold on the exchange.

Other insurers also upped their rates, and some in an even more drastic way than Blue Cross. But since about 80 percent of those enrolled in ACA plans are insured by Blue Cross, they are the company facing the most consumer complaints. According to its rate filing, as many as 329,000 Illinois residents could be effected by the rate hikes.