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Government State

Illinois allows further extension of health plans

CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration is allowing an additional year's extension for existing health insurance plans that fall short of coverage requirements in the nation's health care law.

The Illinois Department of Insurance announced the change last week, following a similar announcement March 5 from President Barack Obama's administration.

Insurers will have the option of canceling or extending the plans for 2015 coverage. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois spokeswoman Lauren Perlstein says the insurer is reviewing the announcement and determining its next steps. Blue Cross has the most customers in Illinois' individual market.

Extending the insurance policies may avoid a wave of election-year cancellations and damper reminders of the president's frequent promise that Americans who liked their plans could keep them.

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