That said, there is no way for consumers to know for sure until the information is released on August 1.
Residents of Illinois are going to have to wait a while before they will know if health insurance rate increases are coming. The information about the proposed premiums changes under the Affordable Care Act for next year isn’t available until August 1.
It is at that time that the health exchange plan premiums information will be made public within the state.
To many in Illinois, having to wait until August 1 is frustrating. The reason for that frustration is that the majority of other states have already released their rate data. However, there has been a delay in publicly announcing the health insurance rate increases in Illinois. Consumer advocates aren’t impressed.
The reason for the frustration is pretty straightforward. When the state takes a longer to announce their insurance rates, the less time consumer advocates will have to respond. In this case, consumer advocates will have only about a month to review the rate hike proposals and respond. The Illinois Insurance Department will finish its own review process and will approve or deny the proposed health plan rates after that point.
The proposal deadline for the health insurance rate increases was in April 2016.
Insurance companies submitted their rate proposals by April, as per the regulations. However, the requirements in the state say that those proposals don’t need to be immediately publicly announced. It is for this reason that the information won’t be available to residents of Illinois until August 1.
A spokesperson from the Illinois Insurance Department explained the reason for this. Rate proposals are considered to be “pre-decisional” until the government gives its approval or denial. Therefore, since a health care plan is not considered official until the decision is made, it is not required to be released sooner.
At the same time, without adequate time, consumer advocates are required to rush to complete their own review. Consumer advocates are, therefore, calling for improved transparency and “public discourse.” According to Stephani Becker from the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, “We would like to participate in a public discourse about rate plans.” Becker added that “Right now there is no public discourse.”