Your Source for Health Reform

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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's Changes to Tax Returns This December 2014 question and answer from the IRS outlines changes to tax filing because of the healthcare reform law. The IRS details how individuals report minimum essential coverage on their tax forms and how to reconcile or claim premium tax credits.

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 Q:   Form 1095-A Timeline A January 2015 news article summarizes when consumers who purchased 2014 federal marketplace plans will receive a new tax-filing document from the marketplace. The article explains what consumers should do if they do not obtain the form 1095-A.

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 Q:   Immigrants, the ACA, and Tax-Filing In a November 2014 question and answer, the National Immigration Law Center addresses immigrants' concerns when applying for health insurance or filling out tax returns.

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 Q:   When the Individual Mandate Doesn't Apply This September 2014 fact sheet from the IRS highlights cases that would exempt individuals from purchasing health insurance. The sheet identifies whether individuals should seek an exemption from the IRS or the marketplace.

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 Q:   IRS Info on Form 1095-A  This December 2014 fact sheet from the IRS details what information will be included in the new document sent to all consumers who purchased 2014 coverage through the federal marketplace. The Form 1095-A records the monthly premiums and the tax credits.

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 Q:   Understanding Different Types of Deductibles The December 2014 blog entry from the Center on Health Insurance Reforms explains the difference between an embedded deductible and aggregate deductible. The terms apply to families purchasing health insurance.

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 Q:   Applying for Premium Tax Credits for 2015 This September 2014 question and answer from Consumers Union explains how individuals report their income when applying for financial assistance for a marketplace plan.

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 Q:   What to Know About Provider Networks This December 2014 fact sheet from the Illinois Department of Insurance explains how consumers can know the strength of their insurance plan's doctor and hospital network. The fact sheet details how consumers can verify that a provider is network, what to do if a type of provider is not included in a plan, and what sufficiency standards all plans are required to follow.

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 Q:   Beware of Out-of-Network Benefits This December 2014 fact sheet from the Illinois Department of Insurance describes how to read an insurance plan's summary of benefits section for the costs of out-of-network care. The information can help consumers avoid paying unexpectedly high medical bills.

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 Q:   How 21-Year-Olds Can Avoid Premium Hikes Returning to the marketplace can mitigate cost increases due to aging. In a November 2014 blog post, Kaiser Health News explains how 21-year-olds can benefit from re-applying for coverage during the 2015 enrollment period.

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 Q:   Choosing Marketplace or Workplace Plans Getting health insurance through the marketplace could be a better deal for individuals and families currently covered through their job. This October 2014 fact sheet from Families USA describes what factors to consider when making the decision. The fact sheet outlines who qualifies for marketplace plans and what types of financial assistance individuals and families could receive.

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 Q:   2015 Analysis of Qualified Health Plans The Illinois Department of Insurance examines the new options marketplace consumers can choose from for the 2015 enrollment period. The analysis includes information on the number of plans offered in geographic areas and data on rate changes.

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 Q:   Breakdown of New Enrollment Rules The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services just released new information explaining how passive and active enrollment on the federal marketplace will work. This December 2015 Health Affairs blog post clarifies the complicated CMS guidance and details the processes for consumers when they choose a new plan and when they decide to remain with their old plan.

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 Q:   Your Healthcare Questions Answered For the November 15 to February 15 enrollment period, Consumer Reports is addressing common concerns that consumers may have about healthcare and applying for insurance through its “healthlawhelper.” Consumer Reports includes prompts for questions and links to resources with answers. The information addresses topics such as how to pay for health insurance, what to do if a consumer is losing health insurance, and even allows consumers to e-mail their specific questions.

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 Q:   Network Adequacy Can Impact Quality of Care Although enrolling in a health insurance plan is important, the medical options available through a plan can also impact an individual’s ability to access care and stay healthy. Network adequacy refers to the quality and quantity of healthcare choices that a person has within a certain plan. This October 2014 explainer from Families USA summarizes the basics of network adequacy and details how it can impact individuals trying to get care through their health plans - all in just six slides.

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