Illi­nois law­mak­ers forgo vote on health-ex­change bill

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Paul Demko

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 Health­ that was mov­ing to es­tab­lish its own ex­change.

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