Despite Governor Pat Quinn’s efforts, the Illinois health insurance exchange will likely be run by the Federal government for the next few years. Gov. Quinn had hoped to push a bill allowing the exchange to be run by the State, but the Legislature adjourned last Friday without approving the bill.
While the State has already agreed to partner with the Federal government for the first year of the consumer insurance marketplace in 2014, proponents of a state-run exchange are hoping that Illinois will take over management by the next year. To assume control of a health insurance exchange by 2015, a state must submit their plans to the Federal government by Dec. 16, 2013. While the events of last week will make it difficult for Illinois to meet this deadline, the Governor’s office is hoping to draft legislation that will pass both Houses of the Legislature later this fall before the December deadline.
The health insurance exchange is intended to act as an online marketplace for consumers to compare and purchase health insurance plans. Many of those consumers will receive government subsidies to assist with paying for their insurance. The Illinois health insurance exchange is scheduled to be open on Oct. 1 of this year and officials expect that six insurance carriers will offer 165 health policies to consumers through the exchange. An estimated half million Illinois residents will obtain coverage from the exchange in 2014, with the number expected to double by 2016.