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The latest useful materials on how health reform is affecting Illinois, to help you navigate the changing landscape.


RESOURCES FOR YOU

 Q:   The ACA Will Not Replace Illinois Cares Rx This chart by the Make Medicare Work Coalition compares the benefits in 2012 of Illinois Cares Rx to the Affordable Care Act benefits for people with disabilities and older adults. It demonstrates that ACA benefits would not fill the gap left by ending the state program.

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 Q:   Behavioral Health: Can Primary Care Help Meet the Growing Need? While addressing unmet mental health and substance use needs, the ACA's provisions raise new challenges. This May 2012 briefing by the Alliance for Health Reform examines the issues. (more…)

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 Q:   How Will the ACA Impact the Chronically Homeless? The chronically homeless suffer from serious mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders, and physically disabling conditions. They are typically uninsured. This April 2012 presentation from IHM explored how the Affordable Care Act benefit them and other vulnerable low-income populations, and what are the limits of the ACA? (more…)

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 Q:   Effective Education, Outreach, and Enrollment for the Newly Eligible This March 2012 tool kit from Health Connector offers lessons learned from Massachusetts' reform for community organizations trying educate their communities on how they may be affected by health care reform. (more…)

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 Q:   Medical Home Network Care Coordination Pilot February 2012 announcement by the Medical Home Network that it has been designated by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services as a pilot healthcare project to test and evaluate care coordination initiatives expected to enhance quality and reduce the cost of care for approximately 170,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in Illinois.

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 Q:   Small Business Exchanges: Opportunities and Challenges A February 2012 webinar presented by the Commonwealth Fund examined how the Affordable Care Act's Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, will make it easier for small employers to offer affordable health plans through new state insurance exchanges. Slides from all four presentations are available. (more…)

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 Q:   Frequently Asked Questions on Essential Health Benefits Bulletin

CMS Document from February 17, 2012

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 Q:   Prevention and Health Reform: Bringing Health to Where We Live, Learn, Work, Pray and Play This presentation by Jeffrey Levi, PhD, of Trust for America’s Health, was made in January 2012 before the JHHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. It focuses on the role of prevention to complement the ACA in moving the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness, and highlights the role of faith-based groups. See also this analogous TEDMED video

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 Q:   State Employee Benefit Choice Options This handbook describes the health benefits available to all Illinois state employees. This is important because HHS guidance on ACA essential health benefits says that each state will determine its own EHB package, potentially based on its largest state employee plan. (more…)

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 Q:   The Key Role of Workforce Policy This October 2011 issue brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation highlights the role of workforce policy in assuring access to care under health reform and improving primary care for patients. The authors clearly lay out four alternative, but not mutually exclusive, approaches to improving access to primary care, present likely advantages and disadvantages of each, and list policy approaches needed for each approach to succeed.

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 Q:   An Introduction to Health Literacy and Enrollment Enroll America's Best Practice Institute produced this December 2011 guidance on writing and designing materials - be they websites, applications, instructions, or marketing materials — that are clear, easy to read and understand, and that make it easier for people to enroll in health insurance.

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 Q:   Health Care Reform and the Impact on Immigrant Populations This November 2011 presentation by Health & Disability Advocates to the National Immigration Conference covered how lawfully present immigrants are included in state health insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansions, while undocumented immigrants are eligible only for emergency Medicaid.

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 Q:   Illinois Exchange Background Research and Needs AssessmentOctober 2011 presentation to the Governor's Reform Implementation Council of the Illinois Exchange Background Resources and Needs Assessment Final Report and Findings. The report stressed that it takes time to design, develop, test and launch a successful Exchange; outreach and education are crucial; and Exchange functions will need to be developed or purchased.

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 Q:   The ACA and Family Caregivers The new health care reform law contains a number of provisions that provide meaningful opportunities to better recognize and address caregiver needs. This October 2011 AARP fact sheet highlights and discusses provisions that mention family caregivers in important ways.

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 Q:   Unfinished Business: Completing Health Care in Illinois This September 2011 report by United Power for Action and Justice on health care reform in Illinois includes survey results from over 600 members about problems they were encountering with their health insurance.

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