Illinois lawmakers forgo vote on health-exchange bill
Legislation to establish a state-based health insurance exchange in Illinois failed to come up for a vote in the House before the Democratic-controlled Legislature adjourned for the year last Wednesday. That means Illinois won’t be able to apply for $270 million in federal exchange development funds. Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner opposes Obamacare, making future action doubtful.
Democratic state Rep. Robyn Gabel pushed the legislation during last week’s special session in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a case that could end subsidies for millions of low-income households in the 34 states that haven’t set up their own exchanges.
In Illinois, about 167,000 residents have accessed subsidies to help pay for coverage through the exchange. That’s roughly 80% of the state’s 217,000 total exchange customers. Financial assis- tance is available for households with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level.
Illinois is among seven states that have partnership exchanges. It was one of the few states using HealthCare.gov that was moving to establish its own exchange.