Between the skyrocketing rates and insurance providers leaving the marketplace, the future of Illinois' Obamacare exchange has come into question.
Illinoisans involved in the state's public health exchanges are going to see less competition after a number of major insurers have left the exchange and now the Department of Insurance says the cheapest plans will see rate hikes between 45 and 55 percent.
Aetna announced last month that it was pulling out of 11 of 15 of the state health exchanges they participate in, including Illinois. This is announcement comes shortly after United Healthcare announced it will no longer participate in the exchanges and Land of Lincoln Health announcing bankruptcy after suing the federal government for hundreds of millions it was owed.
Foundation for Government Accountability Vice President of Research Jonathan Ingram says this could spell the end of the healthcare program. "It's only a matter of time before the exchange market collapses altogether," he said.
Ingram said that once the providers leave, Illinois will see many former Obamacare patients using the emergency room for healthcare. "There will be a lot of people with no options whatsoever," he said.
Many of the exchange members will get notice of their rate hikes one week before the general election. Ingram thinks this could affect close races. "Most people won't find out about the increases until a week before the election,"he said.
Health and Human Services press secretary Marjorie Connolly says they are confident that consumers in Illinois will continue to have affordable options for coverage next year.