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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:   The Face of the Newly Insured This March 2015 issue brief from the Department of Health & Human Services details the 16.4 million people who gained health insurance coverage by race and ethnicity, household income and age. The brief compares the uninsured rate between states that expanded Medicaid and those opting out.  

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 Q:   Advocacy with Medicaid Managed Care This March 2015 guide from the National Health Law Program reviews the laws and reporting requirements for Medicaid managed care organizations. The guide identifies where and how advocates and policymakers can locate data to promote accountability and quality care from managed care organizations.

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 Q:   ACA's Consequences for People with Disabilities This February 2015 issue brief from Health & Disability Advocates explains how people with disabilities can experience gaps in coverage because of new application and eligibility requirements.

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 Q:   Income Rules for Medicaid and the Marketplace This October 2014 question and answer sheet from the Center on Policy and Budget Priorities discusses the new income measure called MAGI. The measure determines eligibility for marketplace tax credits and Medicaid.

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 Q:   Retiree Coverage Choices This flowchart from In The Loop illustrates the insurance options for employees who retire before they are eligible for Medicare.

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 Q:   Health Literacy Overview The Alliance for Health Reform summarizes major studies measuring health knowledge and lists websites and experts for further review in this January 2015 issue brief.

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 Q:   Successful Cost Containment Strategies A study released by the Commonwealth Fund in January 2015 explores what care arrangements and payment incentives effectively reduced medical costs for the chronically ill.

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 Q:   Improving Enrollment in Lake County In a November 2014 report, Health & Disability Advocates and the Lake County Health Department review the outreach efforts of the Enroll Lake County! Initiative. The report analyzes the demographic characteristics of Lake County's uninsured population before the 2014 enrollment period, details the number of individuals who signed up for a health plan, and provides recommendations for targeting groups who remain uninsured. The report and its recommendations can guide outreach and enrollment activities during the 2015 enrollment period and beyond.

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 Q:   Impact of High Deductibles on Access to Care While privately insured Americans age 18-64 are satisfied with their plans, a significant minority, including those covered by high-deductible health plans, are greatly impacted by the out-of-pocket cost of health care. They are concerned with the uncertainty of major expenses, skip necessary medical treatment, and experience real financial burden when obtaining health care. (more…)

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 Q:   Financial Assistance in the Marketplace This October 2014 brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation answers questions about the two types of health insurance subsidies available to lower- and moderate income families - the premium tax credit and cost-sharing subsidies. It explains who is eligible, what amounts are available to people, and how the assistance will be provided.

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 Q:   Is the Affordable Care Act Working? This October 2014 interactive infographic from the New York Times answers key questions regarding the performance of the ACA based on measures of consumer experience, the level of uninsured, and the economic impact of the law on the healthcare industry. (more…)

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 Q:   Contraceptive Coverage Guarantee Works This September 2014 study from the Guttmacher Institute found that the proportion of privately insured women who did not pay out of pocket for oral contraceptive rose from 15% in the fall of 2012, before the requirement took effect, to 67%, in the spring of 2014. The proportions also increased markedly for other types of contraception.

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 Q:   First Look at the Open Payment System The Open Payments System, mandated by the ACA, details payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device companies. This report breaks down by categories the $3.5 billion that these companies spent from August to December in 2013. Although much of the data is redacted or not categorized, which makes the information hard to interpret, this September 2014 report from ProPublica helps provide an initial interpretation of payment data.

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 Q:   Non-Profit Hospitals and CHNA This August 2014 blog post from Community Catalyst explains how the Community Health Needs Assessment can be a powerful tool to address health inequities. To maximize the value of this ACA-required process, non-profit hospitals should include public health experts and a range of community stakeholders, adopt culturally competent measures such as making surveys available in the languages spoken in the community, and develop implementation strategies in a formal and transparent plan.

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 Q:   Advocating for Clients and Promoting Provider Networks in Medicaid Coordinated Care This February 2013 presentation explains initiatives taking place in Illinois and offers key considerations regarding provider networks and client advocacy in the new delivery system. Presenters include representatives from from the Health Medicine Policy Research Group, Age Options, and Aetna Better Health of Illinois.

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