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


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 Q:   Health Insurance Exchange Basics State health insurance exchanges are a key feature of the Affordable Care Act. This February 2011 issue brief from the National Academy for State Health Policy sets forth the major requirements for exchanges as described in the federal law. These requirements fall into four categories: administration and governance, insurance plan oversight, interactions with consumers, and information transfer and availability.

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 Q:   Flexibility for State-Run Exchanges This summary, posted at Kaiser Health News in February 2011, describes how state-based health insurance exchanges called for in the Affordable Care Act will give states substantial flexibility to establish exchanges that meet the unique needs of their residents.

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 Q:   On the Road to Better Value: State Roles in Promoting ACOs This February 2011 report from The Commonwealth Fund examines the development of the Accountable Care Organization model in seven states, highlighting five key areas in which states have played a role in supporting the development of the ACO model. (more…)

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 Q:   Illinois CHIP Fact Sheet - 2010 Under the ACA, Children's Health Insurance Program will continue to play an important role in providing coverage to children. The law extends authorization for CHIP through FY 2019 and extends funding for the program through FY 2015. It also has a number of implications for state systems and policies regarding eligibility, enrollment, and retention in CHIP. (more…)

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 Q:   Making Health Insurance Cost-Sharing Clear to Consumers A Consumers Union study of consumers' initial reactions to the new health insurance disclosure form found that they were able to use it to make hypothetical choices among health plans but also revealed a deep-seated confusion and lack of confidence with respect to health plan cost-sharing. (more…)

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 Q:   State of the States: Laying the Foundation for Health Reform The 2011 State of the States report outlines the significant, wide-ranging efforts undertaken by states in 2010 in spite of major budget challenges and rising demand for public health care programs. The State Coverage Initiatives is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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 Q:   Designing an Exchange: A Toolkit for State Policymakers The National Academy of Social Insurance's 45-page “toolkit” from January 2011 was intended to help states makes decisions in developing the health insurance exchanges. The NASI paper builds on model legislation created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and offers additions and alternatives to the NAIC's proposed act.

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 Q:   DOI Application for Federal Funds To Enhance Rate Review In September 2010, the Illinois Department of Insurance applied for and was awarded a $1 million federal grant to enhance its rate review capacity. As outlined in this grant application, the Department will use this funding for: necessary upgrades to technical infrastructure; additional staff to assist with new filings and reviews; and enhanced information for consumers and policymakers.

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 Q:   Premium Increases and Rate Review Authority in Illinois This presentation by the Illinois Department of Insurance in February 2011 described the state of health insurance premium review in Illinois in light of the ACA. Before enactment of the ACA, most plans were not required to even inform the Department of rate changes or rate amounts for group policies. In September 2010, the Department received a $1 million federal grant to enhance its rate review capacity,

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 Q:   Health Care Reform and Implications for Illinois

U of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs Report: How will Illinois be affected by major reforms in health care?

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 Q:   DOI Health Insurance Reform Webinars These presentations by the Illinois Department of Insurance on health reform related issues, such as the health benefits exchange and premium increases, remain available on the DOI website in various formats.

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 Q:   Factcheck.org on the Myths of 2010 Wild claims topped off a major campaign to discredit the law with misrepresentations, reported Factcheck.org in October 2010. "As the election draws near, some conservative groups are making ever-wilder claims about the new health care law," the wrote. (more…)

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 Q:   New Funds to Improve Health Care in Your State This February 2011 fact sheet from Community Catalyst describes the new opportunities the Affordable Care Act provides to help states balance their budget and stimulate their economy in difficult economic times. The act created a number of grant and demonstration programs that can save state money or bring addition federal dollars for health system improvements, including some new programs available in 2011 and 2012.

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 Q:   State Strategies to Improve Quality and Efficiency: Making the Most of Opportunities in National Health Reform

This report by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) examines specific Affordable Care Act provisions that support state system improvement goals and profiles efforts in 10 states: Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The report highlights the opportunities and challenges that federal health care reform will bring and offers suggestions for how state and national leaders can streamline implementation.

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 Q:   Health Coverage in Illinois: How Will Health Reform Help? These March 2010 reports by Families USA provide state-level information on how the Affordable Care Act will improve health coverage and care for residents.

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