CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois under the Affordable Care Act saw the number of its residents without health insurance drop below one million last year.
The Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/2clZszz) reports the U.S. Census Bureau found 7.1 percent of Illinoisans, about 900,000 people, lacked health insurance in 2015. That’s down from 1.2 million uninsured in 2014.
Obamacare requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine. Nationally, 9.4 percent of Americans were uninsured in 2015, down from 14.5 percent in 2013.
Kathy Waligora of the maternal and child health advocacy organization EverThrive Illinois says the numbers are cause for celebration.
Obamacare led to the creation of online marketplaces, where individuals can buy health insurance. The Illinois Department of Insurance recently submitted to the federal government rate increases ranging from averages of 43 to 55 percent for next year.