NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 8, 2007

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) on Sunday unveiled a plan to expand access to health insurance to the 1.4 million uninsured state residents at an estimated cost of $2.1 billion per year.  Blagojevich's plan, called Illinois Covered, is based in part on recommendations by a legislative task force that all residents, including undocumented immigrants and non-resident students, be required to obtain health care coverage.

Under the plan, every insurer in the state would be required to offer a standardized, comprehensive insurance policy to uninsured residents regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.  The plan would have three main components:

  • "Illinois Covered -- Assist," which primarily would be intended for childless adults with annual incomes below the federal poverty level who are ineligible for Medicaid and FamilyCare.
  • "Illinois Covered -- Choice," which would offer low-cost insurance plans from private insurers to residents who are unable to obtain coverage through their employers.
  • "Illinois Covered -- Rebate," which would help residents pay premiums for existing employer-sponsored health plans.

Blagojevich's plan also would expand eligibility for existing programs that serve some parents and people with disabilities who are returning to work.

Blagojevich estimates that 500,000 residents would sign up for the program in the first year, and more than one-third of all uninsured Illinois residents would have coverage by 2010.

Source: "Illinois Governor Proposes Health Coverage Expansion," Medical News Today, March 8, 2007; based upon: Judith Graham, "Governor's medical plan to cover 500,000," Chicago Tribune, March 4, 2007.


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