Illinois Health Insurance Overview

  • Illinois has a partnership health insurance exchange.
  • Open enrollment for 2020 health plans has ended.
  • The Open Enrollment Period for 2021 plans will begin November 1, 2020.
  • Short-term health plans can be sold in Illinois with terms of up to six months.
  • Five insurers offer 2020 coverage in the Illinois marketplace.
  • Nearly 300,000 people enrolled in plans through the Illinois exchange in 2020.

Illinois Health Marketplace

Illinois operates a partnership exchange with the federal government. This means Illinois residents enroll in plans through HealthCare.gov but Get Covered Illinois acts as a help desk for enrollees.

Close to 300,000 Illinois residents enrolled in health plans through the Illinois exchange during last year’s Open Enrollment Period. Enrollment for 2020 health plans has ended, but for 2021 health coverage, residents can find a plan during the Open Enrollment Period that begins November 1, 2020.

Five insurers offer coverage through the Illinois exchange:

Illinois Medical Insurance Statistics

Illinois Medical Insurance Statistics

How Obamacare is Helping Illinois Residents

Illinois has had relative success under the Affordable Care Act. The state’s uninsured rate has nearly halved, and the choice to expand Medicaid has helped hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents with access to healthcare.

In 2013, Illinois’ uninsured rate sat at 12.7%. Since then, the uninsured rate has fallen to just 7% – below the national average. 

Health Insurance Rate Changes in Illinois

Health insurance premiums fluctuate every year. To ensure you aren’t overpaying, Illinois residents need to monitor changes closely. In 2020, Illinois health insurance premiums saw a decrease in Silver and Gold plan rates, while Bronze plans saw a small rise.

Health Insurance Rate Changes in Illinois

Short-term Health Insurance in Illinois

Short-term health insurance provides temporary coverage, ideal for those who missed the Open Enrollment Period or lost health coverage due to job loss.

Short-term health plans do not provide the same amount of coverage as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, and, as such, are not available from the state exchange. Policies must be purchased directly from the provider. 

Illinois allows residents to enroll in a short-term plan for no more than six months, with no renewals allowed within 365 days of the end of the coverage. 

Although short-term insurance does have a place, enrollees must be aware that they do not provide the same coverage as ACA plans. For instance, your policy likely won’t cover mental health care, maternity care, or prescription drug coverage. 

Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in Illinois

Illinois has five health insurance companies available in the marketplace. Depending on your zip code, you might not have access to them all; certain counties only have one or two insurance providers available. 

Health Alliance Medical Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois offer affordable plans, but not all counties have access to the two insurers. As such, the cheapest health insurance company solely depends on what Illinois county you live in.  

What is the Cheapest Health Insurance Plan in Illinois

Silver plans are the most popular plan type in Illinois, much like other US states. The cheapest Silver policy currently available on the marketplace is Ambetter Balanced Care 11, but this is only available in a couple of counties. HMO 2500 Elite Silver is the cheapest health insurance plan available in most Illinois counties.

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost in Illinois?

Health insurance rates vary based on location, age, and other factors. This makes it difficult to estimate how much coverage would cost without creating a quote based on your credentials.

In 2020, the average premium for a 40-year-old in Illinois is $536 per month. However, this cost will vary based on the type of plan you choose.

Finding Your Best Health Insurance Coverage in Illinois

Finding affordable health insurance coverage might seem daunting, but it isn’t as complicated as it might seem. If you don’t receive health insurance from an employer, you can find a plan in the Illinois marketplace.

Plans in the marketplace are divided into three main metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold. 

Higher metal tier plans indeed have a more expensive monthly premium, but they have much lower out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, copays, and coinsurance). 

The low-cost Bronze plans might seem appealing, but it may not be the best option depending on your needs. 

Metal Options Breakdown

Cheapest Illinois Health Insurance Coverage by Metal Tier

Each metal tier has different premiums and out-of-pocket costs associated with it. The following premiums are based on an average 40-year-old but remember, these policies aren’t available in every Illinois county:

  • Bronze plans are the most affordable plan. Cigna Connect 7150 has a monthly premium of $305. The deductible is $7,150, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $7,350.
  • Ambetter Balanced Care 11 is an economical Silver plan with a monthly premium of $344. The deductible is $6,000, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,100.
  • If you are looking for an affordable Gold plan, Ambetter Secure Care 5 is the cheapest option with a monthly premium of $438, a deductible of $1,250, and an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,900.

Gold Plans: Best If You Expect High Medical Costs

If you expect to have lots of medical expenses throughout the year, a Gold tier plan is likely the right choice. While these plans have the highest premiums, they also have the lowest co-pays and deductibles, so you can expect to save money over the course of the year. Additionally, Gold plans typically provide the best prescription coverage, making them ideal for those who take medications.

Silver Plans: Best for Those with Low Income or Average Medical Costs

Silver plans sit in the middle of the metal tier and offer the best of both worlds for subscribers. The premiums are lower than premiums for Gold plans, and the out-of-pocket expenses are lower than with Bronze health insurance plans.

Illinois residents with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level might be eligible for cost-sharing reductions through Silver plans. This reduction lowers the out-of-pocket costs even further, making them more affordable for low-income families. 

Bronze Plans: Best If You’re Healthy and Have Emergency Savings

If you are young and healthy, you are unlikely to use your health insurance often. As such, the low premiums a Bronze plan provides are appealing to most individuals in this demographic.

Although premiums are low, Bronze plans come with high out-of-pocket costs. Therefore, if you are considering this option, ensure you have enough savings to cover the high costs should an unexpected medical emergency occur.

Average Cost of Health Insurance by Family Size in Illinois

Thousands of Illinois households search for family health insurance every year. Having confidence in your family’s healthcare coverage can provide the ultimate peace of mind, that’s why choosing the right option is important. 

With families coming in all different shapes and sizes, it can be difficult to know exactly how much you can expect to pay for a family health plan. The cost depends on your policy, location, household income, and family size.

Children aged 14 and younger are covered at the same rate, but when the child reaches 15 years old, the premiums increase annually. The following prices are based on 40-year-old adults and children under the age of 14:

Average Cost of Health Insurance by Family Size in Illinois

Get Help Comparing Health Insurance Plans in Illinois

Are you searching for health insurance coverage in Illinois? If you aren’t sure which metal tier is right for you, or how to find the most affordable policy for your needs, get in touch with HealthQuoteInfo.

Our licensed agents will walk you through the entire process, compare plans with you, and help select the right policy. Call us today on 1-855-881-0430.