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Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Illinois | 0 comments

Illinois Health Benefit Exchange


Will there be many options for health insurance on the exchange?

On May 1, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn announced that six health insurance carriers seeking to provide 165 qualified health plans had applied to offer plans through the state’s health insurance marketplace.

The Illinois Department of Insurance will review the plans and recommend whether or not each plan should be certified as a QHP to HHS on or before July 31, 2013. HHS will make that determination by August 31, 2013. At this point in time, no further announcements regarding approved carriers and plans have been made.

Where do I go to compare my health insurance options and purchase coverage?

Illinois has a state-federal partnership; consumers can use the federal website to compare plan options, apply for financial aid, and enroll in health insurance coverage.

Which companies applied to offer plans through the exchange?

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a subsidiary of Health Care Service Corp., applied to offer 14 individual plans and 23 small group plans through the exchange.

Land of Lincoln Health Inc. a new Consumer Oriented and Operated Plan, CO-OP, received a $160 million federal loan to create a new insurance company that would offer plans through the Illinois exchange. On April 29, 2013, the company earned its mutual insurance license from the state of Illinois. The company applied to offer individual and small group plans through the Illinois Exchange. The company is also planning to offer health insurance through private insurance exchanges.

Carle Foundation, is a not-for-profit hospital network based in Urbana, Illinois with services and outreach in surrounding east central Illinois. The Carle Foundation is the parent company of an integrated network of healthcare services: at its core are the Carle Foundation Hospital, Carle Physician Group and Health Alliance Medical Plans

Aetna Inc. applied to offer plans through the Illinois exchange, though this does not guarantee the company’s participation in the exchange even if plans are approved. Aetna has recently withdrawn from many state exchanges in which the company initially applied to offer plans, including: Maryland, Ohio, Georgia, Connecticut, and New York. Aetna is currently working to finalize the list of state exchanges in which it will participate.

Coventry Health Care Inc., which was recently acquired by Aetna, also submitted plans for approval. Coventry Health Care of Illinois and Coventry Health Care of Missouri cover the majority of the Illinois area, with CHC of Illinois covering northern and central Illinois and CHC of Missouri covering southwestern Illinois; below is the CHC of Illinois service area on the left and the CHC of Missouri service area on the right.


Humana Inc. also submitted plans to be offered through the exchange.

Will coverage and premiums be the same statewide?

Carriers are not required to offer plans statewide; some insurance companies may only offer plans in specific areas of the state. Healthcare costs may vary be region and since some areas have higher health costs than others, insurance premiums may vary depending on the region of the state in which you live. The 102 counties in Illinois are divided to create 13 geographic rating areas, which are used to help determine insurance premiums.

1 Cook
2 Lake, McHenry
3 Dupage, Kane
4 Grundy, Kankakee, Kendall, Will
5 Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago
6 Bureau, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, Warren, Whiteside
7 Know, LaSalle, Marshall, McDonough, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton
8 McLean, Livingston, DeWitt
9 Champaign, Coles, Douglas, Edgar, Piatt, Ford, Iroquois, Vermillion, Clark, Cumberland
10 Adams, Brown, Cass, Christian, Logan, Macon, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby
11 Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Montgomery, Randolph, Washington
12 Madison, Monroe, St. Clair
13 Alexander, Clay, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Richland, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson

New information is being released every day. Follow this blog to receive updates as new information is released in Illinois.

Jillian Carlile
Research Analyst & Health Exchange know-it-all

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