More will receive insurance; fines for those who do not sign up
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/25/2013 -- According to reports, Illinois has been granted conditional federal approval to operate an online health insurance exchange along with the government. The move allows an estimated half-million residents to go and buy health insurance starting on October 1 of this year.
The United States Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, made the announcement at the West Sid health clinic alongside Governor Pat Quinn. The Governor had recently urged lawmakers to pass two bills that were aimed at implementing President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law.
Illinois is thought to have nearly 1 million residents to sign up in the next four years.
Sebelius has called the approval “great news” for the state, and that it will be “able to tailor the new marketplace... to the needs that are particular for Illinois citizens.”
The exchanges are a crucial part of the plan set forth by the government in order to expand the number of Americans who are able to receive some form of insurance.
The online market will go up late in the year, and people without health insurance will be able to sign up for coverage from choose from one or more of the 250 health plans that will be offered by the 16 insurance carriers. Many of the plans will be assisted by government subsidies.
There will be an estimated 20 million American that will receive benefit from the federal tax credits that will be started in 2014, when all is said and done. Those credits will help offset costs of paying for insurance premiums. According to government numbers, there are nearly 6 million American that will not sign up and will start paying penalties in 2014.
Experts say those penalties are modest at first, but are expected to increase in the future to an average of $1,200 per person, according to government figures. Fines could reach as high as $7 billion by the end of Barack Obama's second term if the estimates are correct.
Lawmakers continue to state that the importance of health insurance is vital. "It's very important that we the people band together for something really, really important," Quinn said. "We can insure literally hundreds of thousands of people who today are working and are part of our society but don't have health coverage."
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