Illinoisans Have Seen Early Benefits of Health Law
CHICAGO, IL - President Barack Obama's signature legislation focuses on covering most of the uninsured and requires nearly every U.S. resident to have coverage. In Illinois, nearly 2 million state residents are uninsured, or about 15 percent.
Illinois officials estimate about 800,000 now uninsured residents will get public or private health insurance in 2014 because of the national law, climbing to more than 1 million by 2020.
Some early benefits of the health law have affected Illinois residents during its first two years, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
—More than 1,900 Illinois residents now receive health coverage through a new insurance program for people who have been denied coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions as of the end of 2011.
—More than 102,600 young adults have been able to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26 in Illinois as of June 2011.
—In the first five months of 2012, more than 26,000 Illinoisans with Medicare coverage saved an average of $636 per person on prescription drugs because the law is closing the coverage gap known as the "doughnut hole."
—This summer, insurance companies will pay nearly $62 million in rebates to Illinois individuals and businesses because of the law's requirement that insurers spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they collect on medical care and quality improvement or return the difference to consumers.
—Illinois health centers have received more than $102 million to expand coverage to new patients and support renovation projects.