Having health insurance with a carrier that pulls out of the market can be a scary thing. But knowing what your options are is the first step in solving this problem. Families get concerned when they think about their children not having Illinois health insurance coverage. They want to know details as soon as possible.
On October 28th, 2009 Unicare announced that they were no longer going to be selling new business in the state of Illinois and be completely pulled out by year’s end. This is going to affect about 180,000 people in this state that had a Unicare Illinois health insurance policy. The first thing a lot of people do when they hear or receive news of this nature is panic. A lot of different questions run through their minds.
• What are my options?
• What do I do now?
• I have a health condition and I’m uninsurable, what now?
Sound familiar? Needless to say these are all legitimate concerns. This is probably one of the most important decisions a family can make.
Illinois insurance companies are regulated by the Illinois department of insurance. They keep in contact with insurance companies making sure that the insurance companies are not only doing everything by the book but also making sure that the Illinois health insurance carriers have enough reserves built up to cover possible claims in the future. This is not necessarily why Unicare decided to pull out of Illinois. It could be any number of different reasons. Suffice it to say though, that this decision has been made.
Typically when an Illinois health insurance carrier makes this decision that Illinois department of insurance jumps in and helps negotiate a solution for the customers affected by this. Usually another carrier decides to take over the block of business from the carrier that is leaving and customers do not have to qualify for it or go through underwriting to be approved. This is done automatically without the client having to do anything. This is what will be happening in this case. These customers will be able to go over to BCBS of Illinois. Sometimes the plan design doesn’t match up 100%, but BCBS will offer similar benefits and rates in most cases.
If you are not happy with the carrier that would be taking over the business, you could of course shop for a new policy with another carrier of your choice, but you would have to go through the underwriting process.
Although this seldom happens, it is good to know that it is well taken care of and the risk to the clients is minimal at best. But is does in force the idea of finding a company and a plan design that is a good fit for your family’s needs. Also a good reason why it is so important to work with an agent that specializes in Illinois health insurance. They will be able to give you the choices that are available to you and help you through this situation.