Many providers of health care coverage under “Obamacare” announce significant rate hikes for 2016

The Affordable Care Act, often called “Obamacare,” requires most U.S. adults who do not have employer-provided health care coverage to purchase health care coverage on the private market, and imposes tax penalties for the failure to make this purchase. Private-sector providers of health care coverage are required to conform to a significant set of complex mandates, and many of them say these mandates drive up the prices they are required to charge. Sharp increases are being seen in the costs of average Illinois health care policies offered across various tiers of coverage, with the average lowest cost Illinois silver plan going up 5.3% and the average lowest cost bronze plan increasing 11.3%.

Mandated health care coverage can be expensive in Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Insurance, the price of a silver plan for a couple aged 55 can be as high as $1,033 in Sangamon County, which includes Illinois’ state capital of Springfield. The ACA open enrollment deadline for 2016 coverage is set to begin to expire on December 15, 2015 (for coverage starting January 1, 2016), with the enrollment window completely closing on January 31, 2016.