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Although the Affordable Care Act is a federal law, state policymakers like the governor, state agencies, stakeholders, and the legislature are responsible for decision making. They are also tasked with the execution of certain provisions, such as Medicaid expansion, or creating a state-run marketplace. In Illinois, as in several other states, Medicaid expansion was successfully enacted, but legislation to create a state-run marketplace stalled, leaving residents to use the federal site to enroll. Stay with us to stay informed:


 Q:   How can someone sign up for CountyCare?

 A:   In order to enroll in CountyCare, an adult must be eligible and enroll in Medicaid for ACA Adults first (ages 19-64 and below 138% FPL). After successful enrollment into Medicaid through ABE or a local DHS office, that individual  will receive a letter with Medicaid health plans options. CountyCare, which started out as a pilot program, could be one of those options, depending on the area where the individual lives. The letter will instruct the individual to call the client enrollment broker to choose a Medicaid Health Plan. If CountyCare is an option for that individual, they may sign up through the client enrollment broker.

 Q:   Can Insurance Agents & Brokers sell inside the Illinois health insurance marketplace and get a commission?

 A:   Yes, agents and brokers may sell (and receive commission on) Marketplace Qualified Health Plans using either the Marketplace website or individual issuer websites. To do this, they must be licensed in good standing in the state they wish to sell in, and are required to register with the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in order to sell individual plans; CMS also encourages agents and brokers exclusively working in the small group (SHOP) market to register. The commission for the enrollments will be received directly from the issuer – enrollees will pay the same premium if they work with a broker, navigator or on their own. For more information about how agents and brokers can participate in the Illinois Marketplace (and other Federally Facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces), visit "Resources for Agents and Brokers in the Marketplace" on

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TrumpCare: Less for More

This analysis was released by the office of Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin as the House is set to vote on the “American Health Care Act” that would repeal large portions of the Affordable Care Act and dramatically restructure the federal-state Medicaid program, which provides health coverage to nearly 70 million Americans, including more than three million in Illinois. The report provides a district-by-district breakdown of what is at stake in Illinois.

Managed Long Term Services and Supports

Starting July, 2016 managed care organizations will be responsible for coordinating long-term services and supports for people who live in a nursing facility or receive home and community-based services through a Medicaid waiver program. This April 2016 fact sheet from Health & Disability Advocates informs consumers about the change.

Illinois Health Policy Update

Get the latest with this April 2016 brief from Health & Disability Advocates.

Engaging African Americans

In this January 2016 blog post for the Social Security Administration, a Minister details proven outreach and enrollment strategies with the Black community— a group which is still more likely to be uninsured.

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