Advocates urge Illinoisans to comment on health plan rates

CHICAGO (AP) — Consumer advocates are encouraging Illinoisans to make their voices heard on insurance rate increases proposed for health plans sold in the state under the federal health care law.

Illinois released insurance companies’ rate increase requests for 2017 late Monday. Proposed increases are as high as 45 percent for some health plans.

Stephani Becker of Shriver National Center on Poverty Law says consumers can comment by email to the Illinois Department of Insurance. The email address is DOI.HealthRateReview @ illinois.gov.

By law, Illinois regulators can’t reject rates outright, but they can negotiate with insurance companies.

Becker says it’s important to ask state regulators to scrutinize the rates and for insurance companies and the insurance department to know that consumers are monitoring the process.