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Illinois Health InsuranceIndividuals and Families

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Illinois Health Insurance
How to find an affordable plan.

There has never been a better time for Illinois residents to find affordable health insurance coverage. With nationally recognized and award winning companies striving to create affordable, personalized coverage and health care expenses continually rising, health insurance is quickly becoming a necessary expense rather than an optional consideration. If you are not insured through an employee sponsored health plan, you will want to purchase an individual health plan. In addition to state subsidized programs, Illinois residents can choose from most of the major insurance providers in the United States. Several major insurance carriers have developed programs specifically for Illinois residents. BCBS of Illinois' website offers free rate quotes, plan information and physician and hospital search tools. They provide their policyholders with many plan choices including health savings accounts. Aetna of Illinois has a highly interactive website allowing policyholders to get prescription drug information, find a doctor, and get personalized quotes.

Leading Illinois Health Insurance Companies

Aetna of Illinois: Searching for health insurance in Illinois doesn't have to be a difficult or time-consuming task.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois : Offers health insurance coverage for individuals and families and divides the plans into four general categories.

Humana of Illinois: Humana insurance company has been offering a wide range of health insurance plans to residents of Illinois for many years now.

Example of Health Insurance at Work in Illinois

In 2010, over 20,000 asthma sufferers in Illinois were discharged from hospitals statewide. On average, they were each hospitalized for three days in order to treat their asthma related symptoms. On average, each of these Illinois residents received a bill for $12,000 to cover their stay. Those with health insurance will have paid their minimal copayment along with their annual premium, and will be saving thousands of dollars. For those without health insurance, this $12,000 dollar bill owed to the hospital is a tremendous burden. It also has the potential to become a burden on all uninsured Illinois residents because, should anyone default on their bill, the hospitals that treated them will be forced to increase the cost of treatment for all patients. Health insurance can help you avoid large, unexpected bills for treatment as well as increases in treatment costs that come with inflation and defaults.

Health Insurance Coverage Types to Consider

Once you've determined what type of policy is right for your (major medical, individual, group or state subsidized), you've got to choose the type of coverage you get within the policy. Here are some options to consider.

Choosing between an HMO and a PPO is especially difficult if you already have a physician you enjoy seeing. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) are generally less expensive then Preferred Provider Organizations, but they restrict the list of physicians you are able to see. With an HMO, your insurance policy will only pay for visits to physicians in their network. PPO's, while more expensive, allow you to see physician's outside their network, but reduce the amount of insurance benefits you will receive should you do so.

Illinois' Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) is a fantastic resource for uninsurable Illinois residents. Insurance costs of CHIP are paid for by combining your premiums with funds from Illinois' state general revenue fund. This guaranteed insurance coverage with state subsidized premiums helps you to reign in your health costs and ensures that you get treatment when you need it. It may be more expensive than group insurance coverage, so be sure to find out if you are able to obtain group coverage through your employer, union or associations first.

Your personal budget will be the determining factor in whether or not you have a policy with deductibles. The affordability of a high deductible policy is unmatched. For healthy individuals, this offers an inexpensive safety net.

HSA's can be used in combination with high deductible insurance policies to offer some tax benefit along with a specialized account to help defray out of pocket expenses. For some individuals, an HSA is the only type of policy they have. While this means they pay for medical expenses completely out of pocket (HSA's are not insurance policies and offer no copayment options), they enjoy the tax benefits afforded by participation.

You will need to determine how often to pay your premium. You can choose monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payments. In order to avoid policy lapse, make sure you choose a payment plan that you can stick to. You may also want to ask about electronic payments to further reduce your risk of lapse.

Resources and Information

Illinois Medicare Plans

Seniors age 65 and older are eligible for a variety of Medicare plans in Ohio.  Medicare plan options include Medigap and Medicare Advantage policies:

Illinois Doctor Directory

Doctors practicing medicine in the State of Illinois are licensed by the state. Doctors accept different forms of health insurance which you can verify before setting an appointment.

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