The number of Illinoisans who will be eligible for help in paying for health insurance starting next year is 957,000. This figure was announced Thursday by Families USA, an advocacy group for health care consumers. They calculated who’s buying insurance on the individual market now, or who has no insurance, and who has income low enough to qualify for the tax credit subsidy, but not low enough to qualify for Medicaid.
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Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, says he does not expect 100 percent participation once this provision of the Affordable Care Act takes effect next year. He says there are some factors that will prevent people from participating. “Factor No. 1, quite obviously, is do they know about this? Because if they don’t know about it, they’re obviously not going to seek to enroll in this coverage and seek to get this tax credit subsidy,” he said. Another factor is whether they do enroll. Enrollment starts in October.
To qualify, applicants must not have insurance through their employer or Medicare, and have income less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. For a single individual, the income limit is $46,000. For a family of four, it’s $94,200. The benefit is on a sliding scale, but in many cases it will pay well over half of the insurance premium.
The complete report, including county-by-county numbers, is at