If you buy individual health insurance (especially via healthcare.gov), your options WILL be limited this upcoming year.
Right now DuPage County (IL) has 4 options. Aetna, BCBS of IL, Coventry, and United Healthcare. BCBS and Coventry have PPO networks. In 2017, you will have BCBS and Cigna only as Aetna, Coventry, and United Healthcare pull out. Cigna will be an HMO. This means the ONLY PPO network available will be the Blue Choice PPO network via BCBS of IL (assuming they continue this plan, which I think they will). If you need a variety of specialists who are not in the same medical group, you will either have to pay out of pocket or change doctors.
Cook County won't be much better. You have 7 options, but 3 will be going away (see above). Harken Health (who currently has the best PPO network) will be changing the network to either a smaller PPO network or HMO (they haven't told me yet). In 2017, you will probably have Ambetter, BCBS of IL, Harken Health, Humana, and newcomer Cigna. The only two that would possibly have a PPO is BCBS of IL and Harken Health (see above).
Downstate will at least have Health Alliance (as of my writing this article) who offers a POS plan (less restrictive than an HMO, but not quite as flexible as a PPO) in addition to BCBS of IL.
BTW, I didn’t mention the premiums. Go to https://ratereview.healthcare.gov/ if you want to see how bad it is going to be.
To help people who can’t afford the cost, I have a new plan that is NOT insurance but is a cost sharing ministry that will be available to those who just can’t afford the new premiums. It avoids the penalty and has some holes, but something is better than going with nothing. If you want more information on this, contact me. The good news is that you can sign up at any time, but it does NOT cover any pre-existing conditions or medications other than generics. View this as a “last resort” plan.