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OnlineNavigator insurance enrollment supportNeed help?

We make it easy to get friendly, personal and help with health care reform questions through two fast support options:

Email support:
Email support is available 24/7 usually with same day response. Address your message to onlineadviser@live.com.

Telephone support:
Schedule telephone support with a call back at your convenience.

OnlineNavigator support is an independent service offered by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA MT subject to the adviser's schedule availability. This support is not intended to replace the services offered and available through other channels by your insurance company, insurance agents and health insurance navigators. Specifically, this service does not replace  online pricing and enrollment functions, billing, claims or administrative services and does not assist with Medicare or Medicaid plans.

See the OnlineNavigator web site for details on privacy policy and terms of service. 


Covering the Gaps in Obamacare

AUIC Deductible Supplement Insurance - three defined dollar benefit levels to add protection for unexpected hospital bills and other medical expenses left uncovered by primary insurance
AUIC Qualified Health Plan Supplement Insurance - no need to fear the out-of-pocket cost of doctor visits, hospital charges and other expenses left by primary medical coverage.
Core Health Insurance - the nation's most popular defined benefit health plans with guaranteed acceptance from US Fire Insurance Company
Value 24 Hour Accident - up to $10,000 of supplemental health insurance coverage for emergency treatment of injuries at a cost of about $2 per day. Can be used as a stand-alone coverage or added to other insurance.
 
Additional resources for diabetics - a listing of the health plan options and other resources

Most Affordable Supplemental Coverage

Value Med Insurance - 3 question simple medical eligibility and immediate approval for supplemental doctor and hospital benefits

Primary Individual Major Medical Through a Private Exchange

Members Health Insurance Exchange allows you to price and choose from among many of the nations leading major medical health insurance options from a wide range of carriers. Personal help is available through OnlineNavigator to help with your selection.

Dental and Vision Insurance

Core Dental Insurance - preventive, basic, and major dental expenses with the dentist of your choice. Shortest waiting period.
Secure DentalOne - one lifetime deductible of $100 and then up to $1,250 per year coverage
Dental, Vision and Hearing Insurance - no deductible option, use any dentist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, physician or audiologist, no networks!

Online Life Insurance

We expect that traditional direct online life insurance application will be available again soon. Please check back soon or send a message to request more information.
International Term Life - up to $2 million coverage issued by Lloyds online specifically for those who spend time outside of the US

Critical Illness Insurance and Cancer Coverage

Consumers Direct Critical Illness Insurance - Secure UpgradeSM $10,000 lump sum supplemental coverage for cancer, stroke or health disease for as little as $25 per month.
2015 health insurance

Illinois health insurance news

by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT     last updated: February 21, 2016

The two top priorities among individuals and small business who pay for their own health coverage is to find more affordable primary insurance and cover rapidly rising out-of-pocket medical costs that are not paid by primary health insurance.

Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Illinois residents had a choice of more than 15 commercial health insurance companies that issued individual medical insurance and 53 companies that issued small group insurance. as well as state-sponsored health plans for residents with pre-existing medical conditions called the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (ICHIP). This year Illinois residents have a choice of about 400 plans through traditional and online sources. All counties will have at least 56 plan choices. Small businesses without access to an agent or broker can buy overage directly online through the SHOP small business insurance exchange.

Non-insurance options, like Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can be added as effective cost-control tools; ask your adviser for more information. This Web page lists some of the most popular supplemental and low cost commercial health insurance plans and related benefits. Freedom Benefits offers personal assistance with any insurance exchange or health reform issue through www.OnlineNavigator.org.

The state insurance exchange is open now for coverage starting January 2016. Individuals without insurance now should make arrangements to purchase short term medical insurance coverage until then. Covered health benefits under insurance purchased through the exchange in 2016 will be different than those offered though any 2013 health plans. The insurance plan that sets the benchmark for qualified coverage through the exchange is listed here and a list of state-mandated benefits can be found here.

Commercial insurance exchanges may also list less expensive insurance without the essential health benefits.
low cost health insurance

Illinois insurance & benefit pricing

Illinois had the 19th highest health insurance costs of all states in 2008 with an average family premium of $12,603 per year. (The average annual premium for a U.S. family covered under an employer-sponsored health plan in 2008 was $12,298 according to The Commonwealth Fund report. The overall quality of health care ranked 42nd out of the 51 states (including DC). For 2014, premiums were estimated to be about the same as U.S. averages.
The state ranked #23 in physical wellbeing (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily) according to a 2015 Gallup Healthways survey.
Illinois regulates the benefits required for both individual major medical and group health insurance plans, known as "mandated benefits".

Short Term Medical Insurance

Secure Lite STM - the lowest priced major medical insurance for 1 to 12 months
Secure Saver STM - $2 million maximum coverage for 1-12 months at an ultra-low rate
Markel Smart STM - popular and affordable short term major medical insurance with fast online approval
Secure STM - along with its 12 month and 36 month options, this may be the highest quality short term coverage
health insurance planning

Immigrant Coverage

Inbound Immigrant - up to five years of liberal health insurance coverage after immigration including maternity coverage, emergency and other essential benefits

Accident Insurance

Consumers Direct Accident Medical - Protection UpgradeSM supplemental coverage for as little as $20 per month.
Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.


low cost health insurance

Illinois insurance law and regulation

The Illinois Department of Insurance Web site contains help sections for each type of insurance including a section on financially assisted health plans and Medicaid. The Web site has not yet developed resources to help individuals find commercial low cost health plans like mini-med or core coverage, specific illness policies, Supplemental Accident Insurance and basic health insurance.
The state insurance department can be reached by telephone at (877) 527-9431 or by mail at 320 West Washington Street, Springfield IL 62767. The state children's health insurance plan (CHIP) Web site is Illinois All Kids.

Small Business Plans

Freedom Benefits offers professional help with setup of self-administered Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Premium Reimbursement Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and insurance at a low price than any small business can afford.

Non-insurance Discount Prescription and Dental Plans

Careington PPO Discount Plans - the nation's leading network PPO discount provider allows a no-risk trial of any discount plan for only a $20 processing fee
Drug Card America - a free prescription drug card that an be used nationwide
Essential Dental Solutions - simple, inexpensive, no waiting period, up to $500 treatment per year
Rx Pay Card - $10, $20, or $30 payments for hundreds of popular prescriptions.

Telemedicine

CallMD - Doctors and nurses literally on call 24/7 to answer questions, help with medical screening and write prescriptions saving you money with the most common types of medical care. $20 per month covers everyone in the household.

International Coverage and Travel Insurance

Illinois Insurance News

12/5/2015 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, that state's largest health insurer, reports that about 200 small businesses have purchased group health insurance through SHOP, the small business health insurance exchange. This is about 1% of the insurer's total small business customers.

11/17/2014 More than 400 health insurance choices are available to Illinois residents for 2015 although some may still consider the price to be unaffordable and the high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses to make the insurance unattractive. If possible, OnlineNavigator suggests combining the least expensive primary coverage with an employer-paid pre-tax Supplemental Accident Insurance for the best value for overall coverage.

2/11/ 2014 Professional support for any health care reform issue is available free of charge through an arrangement with OnlineNavigator. All online inquiries are handled personally by Tony Novak, CPA. Online support is available through a number of popular social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as e-mail. Telephone support for insurance enrollment is available through Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683 ext. 1.

10/7/2013 The Illinois Policy Institute released a report stating that the ACA is driving down employment in Illinois and that the law is negatively impacting an already unstable economy. Illinois already has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation at 9.2 percent. The report states that employers are reducing work hours to avoid Obamacare penalties. The loss in hours equates to 66,000 retail, food, and merchandise jobs since 2011. The group indicates that the lowest wage sectors are the hardest hit after they studied the effects in retail, food, and merchandise industries – where average hours were closest to 30 hours per week prior to the ACA. The report says that all three sectors have dipped below 30 hours per week, the threshold for a full-time worker under the law.

7/26/2013 Affordable Smart Term Life Insurance is now available to most Illinois residents from age 20 through 60 directly online with no physical exam, agent appointment or telephone verification. Most policies are issued on the same day with coverage amounts of $25,000 up to $350,000. The level premium life insurance is available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Sample rates for $150,000 coverage for a preferred risk male age 30, non-tobacco $30.85 per month; tobacco user $49.55 per month. A preferred risk female age 30 non-tobacco user would be $26.49 per month and a tobacco user would be $40.96 per month. Rates are higher for older applicants and lower health risks as described online. Pricing is based on input you provide about your medical history but, unlike most other life insurers, does not consider family medical history. Coverage is issued by innovative National Life Group, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company for 2013.

3/11/2013 This page was updated to include a link to the insurance plan that will be used to determine specific "essential health benefits" for insurance that qualified for 2014 federal tax purposes. Also, a link to additional covered benefits required by state law. Non-qualified insurance is likely to continue to be available at a lower cost that does not include these benefits nor qualify for federal tax purposes.

5/26/2012 The Illinois legislature voted to cut $50 million from Family Care, a health-insurance program for adults with children by tightening the eligibility requirements for the program. An additional $35 million will be cut from dental care coverage for adults on Medicaid. Governor Quinn indicated that he will sign the bill. We do not have an estimate of how many people will be affected in the state. Lawmakers expect those squeezed from coverage will be able to find affordable alternatives elsewhere on their own. While commercial insurance is available, the premium cost and the out-of-pocket costs make these programs less attractive than Medicaid for some people currently enrolled in the state programs.

2/1/2012 The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a division of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of June 30, 2011 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois is the state's largest health insurance provider and as such, earns the right to set the benchmark for the development of the state's essential benefit plans to debut in 2014 under health reform law.

8/19/2011 Beacon Therapeutic Schools in Cook County and the Chicago suburbs received a federal grant of $409,958 to help uninsured teens enroll in Medicaid or CHIP.

7/27/2011 Parents are reminded that the children's' health insurance open enrollment period ends on Sunday July 31 so applications should be submitted online before that date. See www.uhcenrollment.com for details on the UnitedHealthOne insurance products or www.celticenrollment.com for information on Celtic Insurance individual health insurance plans.

2/12/2011 With dozens of health plans choices available online offering a wide range of pricing and benefits, how do you find the best combination of price and benefits? Celtic Insurance realizes that the choices can be overwhelming; the company offers more than 40 possible health plan designs in many parts of the United States. A new feature called "Help Me Choose" lets users easily and quickly select the benefits they value most and narrows the list down to a few of the best choices. No personal information is required other than zip code and date of birth.

1/30/2011 Patients with health insurance and a credit card now have access to VIP treatment when care is needed at a hospital emergency room. Ingalls Family Care Centers in Flossmoor, Tinley Park, and Calumet City joined the growing list of hospitals that allows patients to use InQuickER, a reservation system that books appointments and reduces waiting time in the emergency room. The reservation system makes check-in easier by recording your insurance and payment information in advance. The service costs $15 to $25. Of course the nature unpredictable medical emergencies mean that the service cannot absolutely guarantee that you'll be seen immediately at your appointment time, but you get a full refund if not treated within 15 minutes after arrival. The InQuickER service works in conjunction with any of the private health insurance plans listed here at FreedomBenefits.net but is not available to uninsured patients.

1/19/2011 Child-only health insurance for children with significant medical problems will be available through an open enrollment period mandated by federal state law during the months of January and July. All children, regardless of medical condition, continue to be eligible for insurance when applying as a dependent on a parent’s policy and healthy children are eligible for child-only insurance at any time. When applying for child-only insurance for more than one child, make a separate application for each child.

12/16/2010 Illinois Department of Insurance officials met representatives of 44 other states and numerous employees of the federal Health and Human Services Department in Washington DC this week for a two-day working meeting to discuss the next steps in establish a government-run health insurance exchange under the American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act. Their attendance at this meeting was paid for by a $1 million federal grant awarded by HHS in September to the state for research how to set up an insurance exchange. Two states (Alaska and Minnesota) declined to participate, saying that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Four other states (not identified in press reports) that received federal grants did not send representatives to the meeting. Attendees included representatives of 16 states that are suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the federal health reform law; specifically the requirement that forces individuals to buy health insurance on the insurance exchange or pay a hefty tax fine.

In its initial federal grant request for the insurance exchange project, Illinois said that it would: 1) Conduct comprehensive review of the status of health coverage in Illinois, 2) Develop structure and timeline for implementation of an Exchange that follows recommendations of Health Reform Implementation Council, 3) Assess resources needed for the implementation of an Exchange, 4) Confer with State agencies about Exchange infrastructure, 5) Involve stakeholders to ensure transparency, 6) Draft legislation that will enable an Exchange, and 7) Perform strategic planning on the operational, financial, technical requirements to sustain an Exchange.

The meeting reportedly did not address the role of the commercial health insurance exchanges on the implementation of new competing government systems. The model act does not address inter-state insurance exchange proposals nor insurance sales across state lines. Federal officials admitted that they may not be able to provide further guidance until 2012. Meanwhile, most states are motivated to continue to meet requirements to obtain additional funding promised by the federal government for the establishment of insurance exchange by 2014. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the huge amount of money being spent to set up alternate insurance sales system technologies could be better used providing health benefits to the public. We proposed on the Universal Health Insurance blog that adequate commercial insurance sales systems are already in place that could be modified in a public/private partnership to make health insurance more affordable.

5/14/2010 Diabetes Coverage: A new resource to help find health insurance for diabetics in Illinois is now available at Freedom Benefits.

5/11/2010 Illinois Auditor General's Office released a shocking report about the "AllKids" CHIP health plan. Among the findings: 70% of last year's payments were for children of illegal immigrants and many claims paid were not legitimate. HFS director pledges to tighten up eligibility and internal accountability of the health plan. When combined with other recent news, we expect this will contribute to a greater need for low cost basic commercial health insurance for low income families in Illinois.

4/15/2010 Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) has decided not to participate in the temporary high-risk pool program but to establish a new state high risk pool for those persons who have not previously had insurance coverage for six months and have a pre-existing condition. Those rates will be announced in the near future but are expected to be significantly higher than other insurance options. Recently passed federal health care reforms gives the state an option to elect this course of action even though the likely result is a reduction in the number of people who will opt to purchase insurance. Illinois residents with pre-existing conditions will continue to be eligible for commercial health insurance (like those listed under "Covering the Gaps in Obamacare" section above but these plans may place a waiting period or limitation on coverage for pre-existing conditions. This type of limited benefit coverage may be the best temporary solution for those who are unable to afford full medical coverage.

11/12/2009 A new law creates a uniform small-employer group health status questionnaire and an individual health statement for use on January 1, 2011 and an orthotics and prosthetics mandate now applies to health carriers and HMOs for policies amended, delivered, issued, or renewed six months after the effective date of the amendatory act.



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This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.