CHICAGO - This week, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois clients joined the array of other private health care customers that began receiving notices their current health care plans would no longer be available for renewal as of December 31, 2013, due to "the new healthcare law."
Skokie resident Vince Romano attached the words "Please tell me again about keeping my insurance" to the letter he posted on his Facebook page.
In the notice, BlueCross BlueShield does not go into detail or suggest what the Obamacare law requires customers buy in order to fulfill the Affordable Care Act's legal requirements. That information is expected to be in the "detailed information" that will follow in a subsequent letter coming "soon."
In August, BCBSIL agent Steve Orlando told Illinois Review readers to expect dramatic changes in the company's plans and the co-payments: "Looking at the new plans, BlueCross BlueShield is dramatically going to raise emergency room copays from $150 to in most cases $400, and raise doctor and specialist copays in some instances. They are adding a co-pay for being admitted to the hospital ($150, $200 or $250), as well as adding a copay for outpatient surgery ($100, $150 or $200)."
BCBSIL writes about Illinois' health care exchange: "You and your family may have new options for health care coverage. Starting on October 1, 2013, the Health Insurance Marketplace in Illinois will offer a new alternative for purchasing health insurance plans. You can preview your premium, deductibles, and co-payment costs before you make a decision to enroll in a plan and determine whether you qualify for assistance to reduce these costs."
The health care exchange is the only place where tax credits to subsidize the costs of the new required plans is offered, but those with pre-existing health conditions are guaranteed a health care plan will be made available to them - at a cost yet unknown to BlueCross BlueShield customers.