CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn announced today that the state of Illinois has received applications from six health insurance carriers seeking to provide 165 Qualified Health Plans (QHP’s) to people needing health insurance coverage through the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. The marketplace is being created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and will give hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents access to affordable health coverage, supported by the federal government. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure all people have access to quality healthcare and improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Illinois.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, thousands of uninsured people throughout Illinois will have access to affordable, quality health care,” Governor Quinn said. “I am very encouraged that we have seen multiple plans being offered on the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. This means that people and families that have been struggling to obtain health coverage will have many options to choose from when we begin the open enrollment process beginning in October of this year.”
The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) will review the 165 plans submitted today to ensure compliance with the provisions of the ACA. Insurers have filed applications to have various insurance policies certified as Qualified Health Plans, a requirement for sale on the Illinois Health Marketplace.
The plans will be reviewed by DOI to determine whether they provide the required Essential Health Benefits, were underwritten under acceptable actuarial standards, meet network sufficiency standards and do not discriminate by discouraging purchase by people with health problems. Once the review is completed, the DOI will recommend whether or not the plan should be certified as a QHP to federal Health and Human Services on or before July 31, 2013, and HHS will make that determination by August 31, 2013.
“The Illinois Department of Insurance is excited to have received a number of plans to review to ensure these plans are good for the people of Illinois and comply with federal and state law," said DOI director Andrew Boron. "Upon consideration, we will make recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for plan approval and inclusion as options on the marketplace."
Under the ACA, all QHP’s are required to include ten Essential Health Benefits that must be included in all Health Plans sold inside and outside the Health Insurance Marketplace that will start offering coverage in 2014. The ten categories of benefits are: (1) ambulatory patient services, (2) emergency services (3) hospitalization, (4) maternity and newborn care, (5) mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment, (6) prescription drugs, (7) rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, (8) laboratory services, (9) preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and (10) pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
“The number of applications we have received shows that the health carriers are eager to offer a comprehensive choice of coverage options to customers of the Illinois Marketplace,” Director of the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace Jennifer Koehler said.
Enrollment in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace will begin on October 1, 2013 with coverage beginning on January 1, 2014. The Marketplace will be accessed through a robust, user-friendly website where individuals, families and small businesses will be able to compare health care policies and premiums, and purchase comprehensive health coverage which will be announced in the coming months. Individuals and families with income between 133 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level will receive subsidies on a sliding scale if they obtain coverage through the marketplace.
For more information about the state’s implementation of the ACA, go to: healthcarereform.illinois.gov.