State News
6:05 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Cost for IL healthcare reform coming in 25-percent less than originally thought

Small businesses and uninsured individuals awaiting next week's unveiling of Affordable Care Act insurance policies got a glimpse of how much plans will cost.  The cost of coverage in Illinois under the federal healthcare overhaul is coming in at 25-percent less than original estimates. 

 In a statement, Gov. Pat Quinn cites examples that show a 30-year-old living in Peoria will be able to buy a plan for $44; the monthly premium rises to $69 for a Chicago resident.

That's for a 30-year-old with an income of $23,000 -- low enough to qualify for a federal subsidy that helps lower the cost of the insurance plan.

 David From, with the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, sees that as a cost shift, not savings.

 "Some individuals might quality for premium subsidies, but those are going to cost taxpayers $1.1 trillion over the next ten years. Shifting costs ... and you know, nothing's free."

The Illinois Campaign for Better Healthcare's director Jim Duffett sees it differently; he says the subsidies will help make affordable plans even more so.

 "So for a single adult they very well may be able to get coverage that will cost them less than what their monthly cell phone bill is going to be."

 Details on insurance policies are expected Tuesday, when so-called "marketplaces" open and people can begin buying insurance through the law commonly known as Obamacare.