Health insurance costs to increase 85 percent in Illinois by 2016 without reform

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Report Details the Cost of Inaction


As the health care debate in Washington resumes this week, a report from the New America Foundation finds that without reform, health insurance premiums in Illinois will nearly double by 2016 – to $25,409 for a family insurance plan obtained through an employer.  As a result, families in Illinois will see health care costs consume nearly half their income.


The report, written by health policy experts at the New America Foundation and co-released in Illinois by the Campaign for Better Health Care, explores the current cost of the health care system to families in Illinois, as well as the consequences of potential inaction by Congress.


According to the report, Illinois’ economy lost more than $8 billion as a direct result of the effects of uninsurance in 2007 – a total of $4,728 per uninsured resident.


“With health reform, we can raise the quality of care and bring the costs down,” said Vincent D. Keenan, Executive Vice President of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians. “The current path is unsustainable and we’re all paying the price – we have to fix this problem now.”  Michael Carrigan, President of the Illinois AFL-CIO said, “The full details aren’t even public yet, but already the opposition is trying to make the current proposals look like catastrophes.  The real catastrophe for America’s working families would be to do nothing about health care.”


Individual insurance plans purchased through an employee-sponsored plan currently cost $4,800 annually but will rise to nearly $8,400 in 2016, according to the report.  Average deductibles will increase 56.5 percent in Illinois, from $1,484 to $2,323 without health reform.


According to Jim Duffett, executive director of the Campaign for Better Health Care, “We’ve waited too long already, and now opponents of reform argue that we can’t afford it.  Nothing could be further from the truth.”  He continued, “We’ve all felt squeezed by the cost of health care, and it will only get worse.  Illinois literally can’t afford to wait any longer for national reform.”


The full text of the report and accompanying state profiles can be found here.  To reach an author of the study, please contact Elizabeth Carpenter, Associate Policy Director, Health Policy Program, New America Foundation at (202) 596-3408.


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