Obamacare Monopoly in McHenry County

Three GOP officials comment on Obamacare shrinking coverage.

First Governor Bruce Rauner:

Statement on Health Care Rate Fillings

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

Governor Bruce Rauner issued the following statement on today’s health care rate filings:

“It’s very unfortunate that the major structural flaws in the Affordable Care Act are forcing higher rates and harming the Illinois families who need coverage the most.

“It is clear that Congress must enact smarter policies that truly provide better choices for Illinois residents.”

Next Congressman Randy Hultgren:

Devastating: Hultgren Urges Immediate Action after Illinois Insurers Announce 2017 Rates

Residents Face Average 37-51 Percent Premium Increases, Fewer Options on Individual Exchange

Randy Hultgren

Randy Hultgren

Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) called for Congress to take immediate action on his bill to provide relief to families and individuals after the Illinois Department of Insurance today announced significantly higher rates and significantly fewer insurers participating on the individual exchange in 2017.

Families living in Illinois and getting insurance through the federal exchange will be shocked by what they will pay out of pocket next year after already enduring the liquidation of the Land of Lincoln co-op and Aetna’s announcement that it was leaving the state market.

Grim News of a Critical Failure:

  • Three of the seven counties in the 14th Congressional District will be left with one issuer, leaving residents of McHenry, Lake and Kendall Counties with a true insurance monopoly made up of only Blue Cross Blue Shield plans operated by the Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC). The reality of this monopoly will be felt hardest by the individuals with HCSC exchange plans that have proposed rate increases of up to 77.3 percent.
  • The liquidation of the Land of Lincoln co-op will mean that individuals in McHenry and Lake Counties looking to keep a bronze plan on the individual exchange will be paying 47 percent more for a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan and likely an entirely different provider network next year. The same bronze plan consumers in DeKalb County will be paying 51 percent more in 2017.
  • People in Illinois who purchased the second least expensive silver plan, the plan on which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) bases its subsidy payments, will see an average premium increase of 30 percent. In DeKalb county, individuals will pay 59 percent more in 2017.
  • The entire 14th Congressional District will see a 40 to 60 percent increase in gold plans on the individual exchange, and several counties in across the state will no longer have any access to gold plans.

“It’s difficult to overestimate the damage this will do to Illinoisians already struggling to afford health insurance.

“This news demonstrates a critical failure in the law which no longer provides the affordable health care or access it promised. We are now witnessing the monopolization of health insurance in Illinois—a devastating reality for many of my constituents who have no choice but to pay exorbitant premiums, drug costs and copays for coverage chosen for them by a failed law and a broken market. It’s clear now that there is no ceiling on premium costs and deductibles under the ACA,” said Rep. Hultgren.

““We are now past the tipping point—both sides of the aisle must put politics aside and come together immediately to fix this law’s clear, fundamental problems.”

Illinois is Already Suffering:

Illinois small businesses, families and seniors across the state already faced an average 20 percent increase in monthly premiums last year, and saw a significant consolidation of its already limited health insurance market. Individuals insured by Land of Lincoln will have to start over on a deductible this year, and will likely pay more for a much smaller or different network in 2017.

A Better Solution:

“Since I took office in 2011, I have been committed to finding more affordable free market alternatives to the ACA. That’s why I continue to push my bill, the State Health Care Options Act (H.R. 3352), which would give states like Illinois immediate and real access to the ACA’s existing innovation waiver, granting them an immediate parachute off the daunting cost increases, smaller plan networks and an increasingly limited state exchange market.”

State Options would allow states to opt out of ACA exchange and/or essential health benefit requirements, allowing residents to purchase a plan off an exchange and giving states back flexibility to offer less expensive, more basic plans that better serve particular needs.

The bill would also increase transparency in the health insurance market and raise the ACA’s affordability benchmark to make sure Americans can pick and keep the kind of plan and network they were promised.

Finally, a statement from Congressman Peter Roskam:

Roskam Statement on Healthcare Premium Increases

Wheaton, IL —U.S. Representative Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) released the following statement after the Illinois Department of Insurance announced substantial health insurance premium increases for 2017.

Peter Roskam

Peter Roskam

“The health insurance premium increases announced by the Illinois Department of Insurance reaffirm what the people of Illinois already know. Obamacare is a failure.

“Illinois families are paying more money for fewer and fewer benefits. Now, they can expect a double digit increase in their health insurance premiums for 2017.

The Administration continues to tout the success of the President’s signature healthcare law, but the facts are the facts. Average premiums in job-based coverage increased by $3,775.

“Co-ops are failing.

“Just last month, the Land of Lincoln became the 16th co-op to collapse, leaving 49,000 Illinoisans without healthcare coverage.”

That’s why Chairman Roskam supports a Better Way forward. The House GOP healthcare plan creates more choices and lowers costs for everyone. We want real protections and peace of mind for families as they make the best decisions for their own individual circumstances. We want to clear the way for the development of cutting-edge cures and treatments. We want to protect Medicare for today’s seniors and strengthen the program for the future.

Learn more about our Better Way to fix healthcare.


Obamacare Monopoly in McHenry County — 14 Comments

  1. **“It is clear that Congress must enact smarter policies that truly provide better choices for Illinois residents.”**

    Talking about saying absolutely nothing.

    Like what, Bruce?

    What exactly should those smarter policies be?

  2. A lot of Obama supporters whom are also Land of Lincoln insurance customers are really upset with Obama over this issue.

    They have to switch insurance companies, some have to switch providers, and they have to pay more.


    C Steven Tucker is an insurance broker and Obamacare expert.

    His organization is called Health Insurance Mentors and he has a blog.



  3. “If you like your doctor you get to keep your doctor” …..


    Is anybody surprised how things are playing out with this socialism crap.

    Elect another DEMOCRAT and watch it get worse.

  4. It’s interesting to me that local politicians are always talking about how small business people are so important to the economy and they make empty promises to support small business when they know that their “proposed” bills, etc. have no change of being passed or implemented.

    They use their fake support of small business to sound “folksy” and “sentimental”.

    I recently attended a local meeting for small business owners hosted by Randy Hultgren and while Randy was was pushing his bill to lower taxes/decrease regulation on small businesses (no chance of passing), small business owners were telling him that real estate taxes and huge, looming health insurance premium increases were more immediately threatening to remaining in business in Illinois.

    Many of us small biz owners purchase individual health insurance policies “off the exchange” because we don’t qualify for subsidies.

    The problem for us is that O-Bummer-Care lumps all of us who by individual policies off the exchange into the same pool of people in the exchange!

    We are lumped into the pool of people who have highly subsidized exchange plans and are probably a sicker population.

    I have always thought this to be extremely unfair to hard-working small business owners who can’t afford to be sick!

    We have seen our health insurance premiums skyrocket out of control since O-Bummer-Care was implemented and now we will be forced into buying the only plan available to us – a ridiculously expensive BC-BSIL plan that has no doctors in this area.

    I wish all the brown-nosed politicians in Illinois would stop talking about supporting small business owners and start “DOING SOMETHING!”

    They won’t get off their partisan arses – they are too wrapped up in pointing fingers, making empty promises, and acting indignant.

    Why not start an insurance pool in Illinois or a group plan for small business owners so we have a fighting chance?

    These premium increases and lack of choice will be the nail in the coffin for many of us.

  5. Remember Kurtz and her push for Navigators?

    Remember the County Board caved?

    When the ACA or Obamacare bill was passed we knew it would lead us to single payer (government) healthcare.

    All you had to do was read the legislation.

    Now, I see many people wringing their hands.

    That said, this:

    “Why not start an insurance pool in Illinois or a group plan for small business owners so we have a fighting chance?”

    leads to the question, Who will control the pool?

    Private sector or government?

    Is Trump not supporting a switch to single-payer?


  6. Obamacare was a train wreck right from the start.

    And Michelle, very nicely stated.

  7. If these local Reps bills are so good, then how come they can’t get them passed through the Congress they control?

    Let’s talk about the real issues here, Obamacare is hurting insurance profit margins.

    Insurance companies could care less about what they offer, they jus see it as a cash cow.

    That is the reality.

  8. p.s. My employees enjoy a tremendous PPO plan that cost $1,560/mo for a family plan, 1197/mo for a employee spouse plan and 977 for employee only plan.

  9. Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Company is an insurance co-op created after Obamacare was signed into law.

  10. It is incomprehensible to me that no one is focusing on the third-party-payment gatekeeper price escalation–

    a patient paying providers directly could afford all doc visits, labs and diagnostic imaging, plus one myocardial infarction annually for $12,000 a year…and $12k/a year paid to a ‘medical finance company’ for monthly-expiring options doesn’t include denied claims, out-of-network, deductible, co-pay, and co-insurance (10%-30%) of prices which are artificially escalated pre-deductible having been met.

  11. Epi-Pen:
    buy online from Canadian pharmacies, still $107 each.

    Now cost $600 in America.

    No prosecutions yet of patients who buy limited quantities for personal use.

    (Medicaid/Medicare pay taxpayer dollar reimbursements at higher cost rates. Yet a number of States including Illinois have obtained exemptions and buy drugs from Canada at much lower prices. These are not ‘legally’ available to private citizens. But citizens may buy online from Canada and obtain these prices which are far lower than going through insurance, paying deductible and coinsurance on the 600% inflated pricing. 3 months supply is standard cut-off for being left alone by prosecutors).

  12. Two years ago, my company terminated its retiree healthcare and dumped all its retirees onto Obamacare.

    I was part of that transition and at the time Centegra hospital was not included as part of the BCBS network.

    With BCBS now being the only option, anyone enrolling in any of their plans had better contact both Centegra hospital and BCBS and find out if things have changed and that Centegra is now part of the Obamacare BCBS network.

    If Centegra is still not part of the Obamacare BCBS network, then that leaves no viable options for a large part of the county.

  13. Dicko – you are correct.

    Last year, BCBS of Illinois discontinued their popular broad-based PPO for the individual market which was a plan that covered virtually all doctors and hospitals in Illinois.

    This change affected all of us who purchased this insurance OFF the exchange and were paying full price (because we do not qualify for subsidies).

    This plan is still in place for group plans, but not for individuals, on and off the ACS marketplace.

    They are now funneling all of us who buy individual policies into their Blue Choice PPO which had (has?) virtually no doctors in this area.

    Last year, we moved to Aetna, which is probably not an option for next year either and we all know that the other option, Land of Lincoln, is now gone.

    We will be forced into the BCBS of IL product that is awful for McHenry County residents who buy individual policies.

    I heard on the news this AM that 1/2 of the individual policies purchased in the US are purchased OFF the exchange and are typically purchased by small business owners, sole proprietors, etc.

    The huge increases being proposed by insurance companies for 2017 will be particularly brutal for individual policy holders who purchase OFF the exchange (because we pay the full amount and are subsidizing people on the exchange).

    Group plans are more insulated from these huge increases and do not share the pain.

    For all the talk about how small business owners are responsible for propping up the economy, being and economic engine, etc., you would think that our Illinois politicians would be doing more.

    Some states have small business pools which might help insulate small business owners from truly devastating premium increases.

    Locally, in McHenry County, the health insurance situation has been deteriorating more than Democratic controlled Cook County since O-Bummer-Care was instituted.

    If our state and local politicians didn’t know about this, they are irresponsible and ineffective.

    I find it incomprehensible and indefensible that our local politicians have done NOTHING to head this off and I have personally written to all of them.

    But why should they do anything?

    They have access to affordable insurance.

    Maybe if they had to fend for themselves for health insurance, they would have a different stance.

    It is also an election year so instead of going to work for their small biz constituents, our local politicians are content to sit back and make their local small business owners suffer with O-Bummer-Care, to make a point – so childish.

    I realize that the ACA is a total failure and needs to be drastically changed but I am also pretty sure that our local politicians did not go to bat for their small biz owners who are drowning in property taxes and health insurance premiums.

    They are too busy working on talking points to get re-elected.

    Sickingly, they are NOW all reacting and writing to say how terrible the increases are.

    Why not be PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE when it is probably too late!


  14. Yeah kinda sounds like a monopoly like the trash men had a few years ago don’t it?

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