Obamacare rates in Illinois could climb next year

Health insurers want to raise premiums next year for Illinois consumers who buy coverage through the Obamacare exchange — in many cases citing uncertainty surrounding the health care law as a reason for the proposed jumps.

Average rate increases for individual plans in Illinois could range from 5 percent to 43 percent depending on a number of factors, including the type of coverage, a consumer’s age and whether the person is a smoker. The proposed rate changes released Tuesday are the result of a complex series of calculations made by insurers and will likely be finalized in coming months.

The outcome of the rate-setting process has ramifications for a wide swath of the state’s population. Although most people in Illinois get coverage through employers or government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, this year more than 350,000 Illinois residents enrolled in exchange plans.

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