By Brett Peveto
Open-enrollment season for health insurance begins soon and Illinoisans have a lot to consider in attempting to get the right kinds of coverage.
The health-insurance marketplace open enrollment period begins November 1 and continues through January 15. Illinois residents have up to 11 providers to choose from, offering 275 plans with availability varying depending on the county.
Dr. Rhonda Randall – chief medical officer with UnitedHealthcare – said it’s important to spend some time doing research when deciding on coverage.
“You want to make sure you set aside some dedicated time to really understand and compare those benefits,” said Randall. “You don’t want this to be a decision you’re making with not a lot of time. Or maybe worse, you were to forget it’s time to make a decision, and then be locked into your current coverage.”
There are more than 800,000 uninsured Illinois residents. Subsidies for those making less than 400% of the federal poverty-level, cap insurance premiums at 8.5% of household income and were extended by the Inflation Reduction Act through 2025.
Looking at the 2023 health insurance marketplace for Illinois, individual plan monthly premiums average $643. That’s a 6% increase over this year’s premium.
With different plans at different price points Dr. Randall offered a look at some of the coverages to consider.
“Some things to consider are prescription drug benefits, mental health coverage, specialty benefits,” said Randall. “Things like dental, vision, hearing, critical illness insurance and others that may be available as well.”
Dr. Randall said it’s important to get familiar with insurance terminology.
“Also make sure that you’re looking at those things like your out-of-pocket costs and having a good understanding of what those insurance terms mean,” said Randall, “like copays, co-insurance, premiums, deductibles and more.”
Illinois residents can purchase insurance through the state exchange getcovered.illinois.gov.