Quinn releases some insurance rates for Illinois - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Quinn releases `ObamaCare` health insurance rates for Illinois

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In one week, Illinois plans to launch a new health insurance marketplace where consumers can shop online for coverage that's required under the nation's health care law. Until now, the cost of the coverage available on that marketplace has been a mystery.

Gov. Pat Quinn's administration released some cost information Tuesday a week ahead of the marketplace's opening day. Consumers have until Dec. 15 to sign up if they want coverage to start Jan. 1.

He didn't release enough information, though, for consumers to determine whether the cost of specific insurance items is going up or down. But, that didn't stop the spinmeisters.

The governor said the lowest monthly premium for a 25-year-old nonsmoker would be $120 in Chicago; for a 40-year-old nonsmoker, $152. Quinn boasted that was 25% cheaper than federal officials had initially expected.

Critics asked, "So, what?" They noted a 25-year-old man could buy health insurance for $56-a-month right now, less than half the cost of the cheapest ObamaCare policy.

"We're going to be looking at rate shock across the state in terms of premiums that Illinoisans will be paying," Illinois Policy Institute's Naomi Lopez Bauer says.

Deputy Governor Cristal Thomas conceded that young men, as a group are, indeed, losers under ObamaCare's rate structure. She said a majority of Illinoisans, though, will be winners--especially women. Insurers will no longer be allowed to charge women more than men, even though the average health care costs for women are higher.

"The majority of people who will be accessing coverage through the marketplace, they will be seeing lower rates," Thomas explains. "The young males is the one category where that may not be the case."

Federal officials recently raised their estimate of the number of young men who will not sign up for ObamaCare, opting instead to pay a penalty that will be collected at tax time by the Internal Revenue Service. While the cheapest insurance policy would cost that 25-year-old non-smoking man $1,440 a year, the penalty next year would be only $95 or 1% of his taxable income, whichever's higher.

Also Tuesday, Republican Senator Mark Kirk joined other ObamaCare critics in a letter to the Administration. Kirk cited a National Federation of Independent Business estimate that by 2022 the taxes that are part of the president's plan would cost a typical family $5,140 and would eliminate at least 146,000 jobs.

 

Here's a break-down of selected prices of insurance policies expected to be offered on the Illinois marketplace.

BRONZE AND SILVER PLAN RATES:

 

  • Lowest cost bronze plan: Cook County
    • $120 at age 25, $152 at age 40, $266 at age 55
  • Lowest cost silver plan: Cook County
    • $165 at age 25, $210 at age 40, $367 at age 55
  • Lowest cost bronze plan: Peoria County
    • $128 at age 25, $163 at age 40, $284 at age 55
  • Lowest cost silver plan: Peoria County
    • $169 at age 25, $215 at age 40, $376 at age 55
  • Lowest cost bronze plan: Champaign County
    • $166 at age 25, $211 at age 40, $368 at age 55
  • Lowest cost silver plan: Champaign County
    • $215 at age 25, $274 at age 40, $478 at age 55
  • Lowest cost bronze plan: St. Clair County
    • $134 at age 25, $171 at age 40, $298 at age 55
  • Lowest cost silver plan: St. Clair County
    • $178 at age 25, $226 at age 40, $395 at age 55

The rates above are for non-smokers and before tax credits. Smokers will pay more.

Bronze plans will have lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and co-pays. Silver plans have higher monthly premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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