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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:   How Many Have Pre-Existing Conditions? 36 Million to 122 Million Asked to examine the effect of the ACA prohibition against discrimination based on pre-existing condition, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that previous estimates of individuals with pre-existing conditions ranged from 36 million to 122 million. The estimates in the GAO's March 2012 study were for people age 19-64.

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 Q:   The ACA at Two: What’s Already in Place and What to Expect This April 2012 presentation, part of the Starting Strong for Community Health series, includes an overview of the ACA, changes in effect or about to go into effect, pending state and federal policy decisions, and data on the uninsured in Illinois.

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 Q:   Explaining the Medical Loss Ratio This March 2012 fact sheet from the Kaiser Family Foundation explains how the ACA's MRL provision will affect health insurers and consumers. The provision requires most insurance companies that cover individuals and small businesses to spend at least 80% of their premium dollars on health care (that is, paying medical claims) and quality improvement. (more…)

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 Q:   Immigrants and the ACA: A Primer A brief description by IHM of how immigrants, non-immigrants and undocumented immigrants are affected by the ACA.

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 Q:   The Uninsured and the Difference Health Insurance Makes This fact sheet describes the situation in 2011, when almost 48 million nonelderly Americans were uninsured, amidst a slow economic recovery. The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured provides information and analysis on healthcare coverage and access for low-income populations, with a special focus on Medicaid.

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 Q:   A Guide To Health Insurance Exchanges A March 2011 FAQ from Kaiser Health News.

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 Q:   5 Key ACA Standards that Will Impact Family Planning This May 2011 document from the National Health Law Program, or NHeLP, explains these Affordable Care Act terms - Qualified Health Plans, Essential Health Benefits, Benchmark Plans, Preventive Care, and Essential Community Providers. A grasp of the complex ways these new standards interact with each other is key to understanding how access to family planning services will be impacted in Medicaid and the insurance exchanges.

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 Q:   The Value of Insurance: the Uninsured and Hospital Bills This May 2011 ASPE research brief from HHS estimates estimates the likelihood that those without health insurance would be able to pay hospital bills. (more…)

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 Q:   Will the ACA Make Health Insurance Affordable? This April 2011 report from the Commonwealth Fund assesses how much "room" people have in their budget, after paying for other necessities, to pay for health care needs. (more…)

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 Q:   Chronic Disease Management in the Affordable Care Act A February 2011 brief from Health Reform GPS about provisions in the Affordable Care Act to encourage chronic disease management as part of the overall emphasis on improving the efficiency of health care. ACA provisions incentivize active self-management by patients, provide opportunities for reimbursement of providers, and provide federal support for development of chronic disease management programs.

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 Q:   Uninsured Older Adults in Illinois by Legislative District This report, by Rob Paral & Assoociates, found that in Illinois there are 287,084 uninsured older adults age 50-64 – 13.3% of this population. In some senate districts, this climbs to over 25%. Often adults in this age group, who are not yet eligible for Medicare, have very limited access to public or private health insurance - especially if they are low income.

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 Q:   Illinois Health Care Reform Implementation Council Website of the Illinois Health Care Reform Implementation Council, established by Governor Quinn in July 2010 to help the state implement the reforms contained in the Affordable Care Act. The site listed materials, public meeting dates and reports.

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 Q:   Health Insurance Reform Information Center The HIRIC, operated by the state Department of Insurance, is a forum for information on the national health insurance reform and its effects on Illinois. The department posts fact sheets, legislation, and other useful material as they becomes available.

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