Study shows alarming increase in Illinois residents without medical coverage

Illinois residents are losing their health insurance at an alarming rate
Illinois residents are losing their health insurance at an alarming rate
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 5:34 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - While the middle of a pandemic seems like the most important time to have health coverage, a recent study shows more Illinois residents are going without.

“We can look in what’s called the household poll surveys. We’ve been able to go through and essentially figure out what percentage of people in each state weren’t insured,” says Nick VinZant, QuoteWizard senior research analyst.

VinZant says the drop in Illinois is directly related to employers and private companies.

“Most people, around 80% in Illinois, have health insurance because of their employer. What we found is when the pandemic hit, a lot of people lost their jobs,” he added. “When they lost their jobs, they lost their health insurance. People have started to get back into the workforce and they’ve started to get health insurance again. In Illinois though, that has not been the case.”

Local facilities that provide free health care, like Hope Clinic at the Rockford Rescue Mission, can attest to this.

“A lot of people come to us without,” says Rockford Rescue Mission’s Teresa Reeverts. “And they need emergency care. It does concern me when people say this is the great era of resignation. Well, along with that goes your health insurance. It could really get to be quite a drain on those of us who are in this kind of service field.”

Organizations like Get Covered Illinois also help residents who find themselves without insurance. Get Covered Illinois shares options available for purchase through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which administers the state’s Medicaid, CHIP and state-funded health benefits programs, says preliminary data - comparing February 2020 and September 2021 - shows an 18% increase in enrollment.

According to a statement from HFS, “This growth reflects continuous eligibility during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, a federal condition for states to receive enhanced federal funding during the PHE.”

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