Pressure on for Illinois health insurance industry

November 14, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Thursday's announcement is putting pressure on state officials and the health insurance industry.

Some in the industry say adding back these policies could jeopardize the stability of insurance rates for everyone.

Premiums for next year had been locked in.

This comes as the roll out of affordable care was rolling a bit easier for some.

The Westside Health Authority has had hundreds come through to enroll in an affordable health care plan.

When we first met navigator Paula Campbell October 1, things weren't going so well.

"Nothing was working nothing at all," she said then.

Things have gotten better. Thursday she was able to walk Olvin Velez through the process.

"Opening up the system where people can enroll that has greatly improved because you couldn't even get in," Campbell said. "You log in on part if it and the next time it's down."

Thursday President Obama talked about the improvements and a change, a big change allowing insurance companies to continue coverage to Americans who had their plans dropped. Thursday Eyewitness News reached out to a few health insurance companies - Humana , Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

They told us they have been working with clients to maintain coverage. Now they hope to work with state officials to implement these new options.

State officials are now trying to figure out how to make that happen.

The state's healthcare spokesman says: "In light of the latest developments, we are carefully evaluating the Department's options under state law and through the lens of what's best for Illinois healthcare consumers."

"I think it's well-intentioned to give health care to all, but when you start making commitments and making promises and then you can't fulfill them, I think that's problematic," said Jack Dorgan, Illinois Republican Party Chair.

None of the companies we spoke with would confirm how many people in Illinois had been sent notices their coverages were terminating.

Thursday's announcement is expected to allow millions of Americans maintain health care coverage.

How that happens and what that means for others remains to be seen.

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