Like in many other states in the United States, in Illinois too a large number of people tend to go without coverage for years on end. A certain survey states the number can close to as large as 1,30,000 people. And as always the culprit behind this phenomenon is none but the rising costs of health insurance. In the state of Illinois though, there are innumerable companies offering coverage at lower rates. These carriers have a range of plans meeting the needs of individuals, families and even employee groups.
As far as individuals who do not have coverage are concerned, the state of Illinois has a Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) on offer. If you want to apply for the high risk pool with CHIP youíll need to first meet certain requirements. First of all, you need to be a resident of the United States. Secondly, you must be a resident of the state of Illinois for at least six months at the time of your application. Thirdly, eligibility of an applicant is decided by whether he has been rejected by any other insurer due to a health condition. If yes, he becomes eligible to access coverage under CHIP.
Individuals may also choose to continue with coverage on event of divorce, loss of job or early retirement under the guidelines of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Persons who have had jobs with organizations with more than 20 employees find it easier to continue their coverage if they happen to lose their jobs. In fact upon eligibility, they may even opt for coverage over a period of 29 months rather than the usual 18 months. People who have worked with companies with less than 20 employees can apply for coverage continuation only for 18 months.
Illinois also offers insurance to small and large organizations where the amount of coverage is decided taking into consideration the average age of the group in question, the location of the company, the industry they belong to etc. When youíre getting coverage through your employer there is some information that you must keep handy. The very first thing is that all employee group insurance proceedings have to strictly adhere to the US Department of Labor. Arm yourself with all critical knowledge so that your employer cannot take undue advantage. For instance, your employer canít just choose to deprive one of his employees of group coverage benefits just because he has a health condition. Similarly, if youíre working in a company with 20 or more employees, see to it that you get to continue coverage the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.
Being confused about Illinois insurance laws is understandable. In case you need further guidance you can always get in touch with the Illinois Division of Insurance. This body regulates all matters regarding insurance in the state. For the common manís benefit, the Division enlists brokers and companies who are licensed to operate within the health insurance industry in the state.