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Obamacare in Illinois

Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), has provided health insurance to nearly 350,000 Illinois residents. Seventy-eight percent of Illinois consumers qualified to receive a tax credit that lowered their premiums to an average of $208 per month. Forty-nine percent of Illinois enrollees got coverage for $100 or less after applying tax credits. Obamacare has insured 16.4 million consumers through the Health Insurance Marketplace, which brings together health insurance providers and their various different plans. In Illinois, there are now 10 health insurers offering an average of 46 different health care plans. The topics below give more information about the Affordable Care Act within the state:

  • Did Illinois accept the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion?
  • Does the state or federal government run the health insurance exchange in Illinois?
  • Eligibility for Obamacare in Illinois?
  • How to apply for Obamacare in Illinois
  • Health plan cost and availability in Illinois

Did Illinois accept the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion?

What is the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion? The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion redefined who qualifies for tax credits toward health insurance coverage. The Obamacare Medicaid expansion details that individuals or families with income at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level now qualify for a tax credit to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace. The ACA Medicaid expansion is available in 30 states, including Illinois. The remaining 20 states have not chosen to accept the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, though residents in those states may still qualify for Obamacare for other reasons.

What is the expansion of Medicaid? Obamacare expands Medicaid by increasing the income limit to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Illinois applicants with incomes below this level meet Obamacare Medicaid eligibility requirements and qualify for tax credits toward health insurance. The ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states is currently zero, as 100 percent of the program will be funded by the federal government during the first three years of expansion. After three years, the federal government will cover 90 percent of the costs, leaving each participating state to cover the remaining 10 percent. Illinois residents needing health insurance may fill out an Obamacare Medicaid application and get a tax credit toward health insurance, provided that the income limit is met.

Does the state or federal government run the health insurance exchange in Illinois?

What is the Marketplace for health insurance? The Marketplace, or the Obamacare healthcare Marketplace, is where various issuers of health insurance coverage come together in a given state. Beneficiaries of the Obamacare health insurance exchange in Illinois have 10 issuers and an average of 46 plans to choose from, as of 2015. For those still unsure about, “What is the health insurance exchange?” note that while each state has health insurance providers participating in Obamacare, each may have its own unique marketplace. In any case, all providers abide by the same health insurance exchange regulations, which were set forth by the ACA.

Eligibility for Obamacare in Illinois

What are the requirements to apply for Obamacare in Illinois? IL applicants should not be currently receiving Medicare, Medicaid or employer insurance, and they cannot be incarcerated. Those who are in any of these situations will not be eligible for most Obamacare plans. The only exceptions are those whose employer’s plans account for 9.5 percent of their salary, and are thus receiving better coverage than they could afford through the IL Marketplace.

As to who is eligible for Obamacare, as long as an applicant is a U.S. citizen, is a resident in the county where the application is filed, and can provide proof of identity and income, he or she is eligible. Those IL residents who are wondering how to qualify for Obamacare, especially if their salaries do not qualify them for subsidies, do not need to worry about income. The Obamacare income requirements are only used to determine eligibility for subsidies and tax credits and will not disqualify anyone from the marketplace. In any case, general Obamacare coverage eligibility requirements relate to household demographics, age, gender and employment information. Having this information on hand will make the process go smoothly.

How to Apply for Obamacare in Illinois

What is needed to sign up for Obamacare in IL? All applicants must first learn how to get Obamacare in the easiest manner possible. Regarding how to apply for Obamacare insurance, most find the online application method the simplest. Another popular question is, “What do I need to apply for Obamacare in Illinois?” and the answer to this question is as follows: 

  • Personal identification
  • Social Security card
  • Employment information
  • Current insurance policy
  • Tax returns
  • Pay stubs

For those who need assistance with how to enroll in Obamacare in IL, call the number provided at the Marketplace. If you are asking yourself, “How can I apply online for Obamacare?” you may obtain the help you need through trained professionals, who can even stay on the phone as you fill out the form online. These professionals can also assist Illinois residents by indicating where to apply for Obamacare in their county if they would prefer to apply in person. 

Health Plan Cost and Availability in Illinois

What most Illinois residents want to know is, “How much will Obamacare insurance cost me?” but the answer is not a simple one. Obamacare health insurance plans costs are based on an individual’s circumstances, which are as unique as the person inputting them.

How much does Obamacare cost? Currently, four tiered plans are available to residents of IL and include the bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans. Both the bronze and silver plans offer the minimum coverage required by law, though the silver plan offers more coverage. The gold and platinum plans offer much more coverage by percentages (80 and 90 percent, respectively), but the monthly premiums are costly. To receive an estimate for your specific circumstances, the Marketplace offers many calculators and can offer closer Obamacare health insurance price estimates if you provide the necessary details. As an average, however, for a family of four making an annual salary of $40,000, a silver plan will cost just $159 per month.