Illinois health insurers have proposed raising prices for affordable care plans under the Affordable Care Act

Illinois residents who buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchange may see price increases next year — sometimes by two percent.

Ten Illinois insurance companies that sell plans on the exchange, at healthcare.gov, estimate an increase of between 3% and about 16% in plans in 2023. .

The state’s largest health insurance company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, is seeking a 5.3% rate increase. Celtic Insurance Co., which sells plans called Ambetter, wants an average increase of 13.7%. UnitedHealthcare of Illinois offers an average increase of about 16%.

About 230,000 Illinois residents have Affordable Care Act plans through Blue Cross. About 54,000 people would be affected by the rate change from Celtic / Ambetter, and about 5,500 who have UnitedHealthcare would be affected, according to the insurance documents provided with their proposal.

More than 320,000 Illinois residents purchased health plans through the exchange by 2022. Most people in Illinois get health insurance through their employer or government programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Blue Cross, Celtic and UnitedHealthcare criticized the rise in healthcare costs, among others, in documents submitted with their proposals to healthcare.gov. The proposal could be finalized in the coming months.

Blue Cross, Celtic and UnitedHealthcare did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

Stephani Becker, director of health care at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law in Chicago, said Illinois consumers should remember that state subsidies will also help reduce the cost of health insurance next year. However, he said that any increase has an effect.

“(The cost of) everything is going up right now, so the last thing Illinois families need is for their health insurance premiums to come back,” Becker said. “It is very important that the state and federal representatives do everything they can to reduce these costs.”

The increase follows years of low prices, and comes amid uncertainty about the future of federal subsidies that help consumers offset the cost of insurance purchased through the Affordable Care Act exchange.

Many people have been getting help for a long time to help lower the monthly cost of insurance purchased through the Affordable Care Act exchange. In Illinois, 85% of people who bought plans through the exchange in 2020 received subsidies, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In the middle of the pandemic in 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law making the money more generous to more people and expanding the number of people eligible to receive it.

Now, these additional resources are expected to expire at the end of this year and return to their previous levels. After back and forth, Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-West Virginia, recently signed legislation to combat climate change that would extend tax increases through 2025. The legislation, however, has not yet been confirmed.

Supporters of increased subsidies fear that if they disappear, many consumers will drop their health insurance coverage because it will no longer be affordable.

If additional aid does not increase, people who make more than four times the federal poverty level may no longer be eligible for aid.

This means, for example, that in Illinois, a 40-year-old person who buys a silver policy on the exchange and makes $51,521 a year can see a significant increase of about 15%, according to the Kaiser Family analysis. Foundation.