Nearly 12,000 Sangamon County Obamacare Enrollees at Risk after Texas Judge’s Ruling

(Springfield, IL) – Nearly 12,000 Sangamon County residents who are enrolled in the Affordable Care Act are at risk of losing their health insurance if a recent ruling from a federal judge in Texas is upheld, and Illinois’ new governor and legislature should begin to make a contingency plan, a top advocate group says.

There were 11,791 Sangamon residents enrolled in the ACA in 2017, according to Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services data, and the estimated 1,886 of those who suffer from mental illness could see their care jeopardized if the federal health care law falls, according to Sara Howe, CEO of the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health, which is based in Springfield.

“Here in Sangamon County, nearly 12,000 people could lose their health insurance and an estimated 2,000 with mental illness would lose access to behavioral health care,” said Howe. “Rolling back the Affordable Care Act would steam roll the health care and mental health care on which our neighbors depend.”

A federal judge in Texas ruled on December 14 that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional citing its mandate requiring people to buy health insurance.

Overall, the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Chicago estimates approximately 2.1 million Illinois adults live with mental illness and 434,000 with a serious mental illness, Howe noted.

“Because hope is not a plan, Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois legislature will need to make a contingency plan to address the health care for the 12,000 Sangamon county residents and the 630,000 Illinois residents overall enrolled in the ACA if the worst happens and the law collapses,” said Howe.

Sara Howe, sara@ilabh.org

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