Average health insurance rates in
But an increase in federal subsidies funded through the American Rescue Plan, which further reduced the cost of premiums, meant most enrollees saw no net increase in out-of-pocket costs in 2021, according to
The enhanced subsidies will continue through 2022, she said.
The release of the insurance department's report coincided with the beginning of the open-enrollment period for HealthCare.gov. Open enrollment runs through
The boosted subsidies have had a "major impact" for Illinoisans, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and related job losses, Becker said.
Efforts are underway in
There was an average 3% decrease statewide in premiums for the second lowest-cost silver "benchmark" plans, the state insurance department said in a news release.
Rate decreases for lowest-cost "gold" plans also are available this year in more counties across the state, the release said.
Dana Popish Severinghaus, acting director of the
Federal funding for enrollment outreach efforts in
The state also is spending
All of the new issuers are serving residents of counties in the
Under the American Rescue Plan passed by
Premium subsidies previously ended for people and families with incomes over 400% of the poverty level, but the federal legislation capped premiums in those income brackets to 8.5% when they bought "silver" plans.
And the percentage of income that could be paid for "silver" plans in income groups below 400% of the poverty level was reduced across the board by the American Rescue Plan, leading to even lower out-of-pocket costs, Becker said.
Enrollment in the Medicaid program, funded by the state and federal government, also has risen during the pandemic, she said.
For childless adults in
A total of 291,215 Illinoisans signed up for ACA plans in the previous open enrollment period, according to the
Eighty-five percent of Illinoisans enrolling through HealthCare.gov receive premium subsidies.
More free assistance is available for people wanting to enroll, Popish Severinghaus said. Organizations providing assistance in various parts of the state are listed online at GetCoveredIllinois.gov or by phone at (866) 311-1119.
HSHS Illinois is offering free calls with a certified application counselor. Consultations can be arranged by calling (217) 464-2510.
Central Counties Health Centers,
Appointments for free counseling on ACA plans can be made at SIU Medicine by calling (217) 545-8000. Callers should ask to speak with a family medicine financial counselor.