More becoming known about health care plans

CHAMPAIGN — East Central Illinois residents planning to check out their options next week in the state's new health marketplace will find between 61 and 70 plan choices.

About half are individual plans and the rest are small-group plans, according to new information available through the Illinois Department of Insurance.

Open enrollment is set to begin Tuesday in the marketplace, an online shopping place for the uninsured to choose and apply for coverage, plus apply for subsidies to offset premium payments.

Details of health plan rates and costs have yet to be disclosed. But earlier in the week Gov. Pat Quinn's administration said rates on marketplace benchmark plans will be 25 percent lower than federal estimates.

Now a summary of filed health plans as of Wednesday opens the curtain a bit more about what's in store.

One detail to emerge: None of the filed plans for Champaign, Coles, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Piatt and Vermilion counties is a so-called "platinum" plan, which comes with the richest benefits.

Plans for these counties will come in the lower three tiers: bronze, silver, and gold.

Plans are classified by their cost-sharing levels, with bronze coming in with the lowest premiums and highest cost-sharing for the policy holders, all the way up to platinum plans that have the highest premiums and lowest cost-sharing.

For individual coverage in Champaign, Coles, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Piatt and Vermilion counties, which all fall in the same state health plan rating area, there will be 11 gold plans, 12 silver plans, eight bronze plans, and three catastrophic plans, according to the state.

DeWitt County, in a separate rating area, will have one platinum plan, 12 gold plans, 14 silver plans, 10 bronze plans and four catastrophic plans.

Regional insurers serving East Central Illinois include Coventry Health Care of Illinois, Health Alliance Medical Plans  and Humana Health Plan, plus two statewide insurers, Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Co. and Health Care Service Corp., according to the state.

The least number of plans will be available in southern Illinois, at 57-60, and the most will be offered in Cook, McHenry and Lake counties, at 101-106 plans.

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