Your Source for Health Reform


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New Guidelines Mean More Preventive Services for Women

This blog post, entitled “New Guidelines Mean Women with Insurance Will Get More Preventive Services Free,” appeared in August 2011 at the Commonwealth Fund. It lists and discusses the new required services for women, to be covered by all non-grandfathered health plans.

Grandfathered Plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides many new important protections for consumers who have or who are seeking private health insurance. Grandfathered plans are exempt from requirements to comply with some of the new consumer protections that the law includes. This Families USA fact sheet describes what health plans qualify as “grandfathered plans” and which protections under the ACA apply to them.

Exchanges: Top Ten Priorities for Consumer Advocates

Consumer advocates face seemingly infinite questions about the development of their state insurance Exchanges. Based on Community Catalyst’s experience with Exchanges in Massachusetts, Utah, and other states, this list of priorities was assembled in March 2011 to begin to answer some of the many outstanding questions in order to help state advocates build strong Exchanges that help consumers’ ability to access quality, affordable health insurance across the country.

A Guide To Health Insurance Exchanges

A March 2011 FAQ from Kaiser Health News.

Illinois Medicaid Integrated Care Program Advocacy Toolkit

This consumer guide can help you choose the ICP health plan that may work best for you. ICP is Illinois Medicaid’s mandatory new program for adults (over age 19) who have disabilities and receive SSI. Eligible people who live in the target areas for this program are getting letters from HFS in the mail. This consumer guide can help you choose the health plan that may work best for you.

How the ACA Is Helping Young Adults Stay Covered

This report from the Commonwealth Fund describes The Affordable Care Act is making a difference for young adults, among the groups most at risk for lacking health insurance in the United States. Young adults up to age 26 may now stay on or join their parent’s health plans if they include dependent coverage, and early reports indicate that at least 600,000 have done so. (more…)

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.

Women at Risk, and How the ACA Will Help

This May 2011 study by the Commonwealth Fund explores Why increasing numbers of women are failing to get the health care they need and how the Affordable Care Act will help. It is based on findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey of 2010.

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…)

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…)

New Benefits for Grads and Young Adults

If you are leaving school or changing jobs, this HHS fact sheet for young adults shows how you may be eligible for important new benefits that will ensure you get the care you need and deserve. Here are a few ways that the Affordable Care Act can help you.

Young Person’s Guide to Health Insurance

This brochure, designed for graduating seniors by Families USA and the Illinois PIRG, explains the benefits of health insurance for young adults and provides information on having coverage through ones parents’ plan until age 26, using, and the new rights and consumer protections young people have under the Affordable Care Act.

Essential Health Benefits and People with Disabilities

This issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund examines how the ACA’s “essential health benefits” provision will help Americans with disabilities, who currently are subject to discrimination by insurers based on health status and health care need. (more…)

Patient Advocate Foundation

The Patient Advocate Foundation provides mediation and arbitration services to patients to remove obstacles to healthcare including medical debt crisis, insurance access issues and employment issues for patients with chronic, debilitating and life-threatening illnesses. Their motto is “Solving Insurance and Healthcare Access Problems.”

A Flowchart of How to Get Health Coverage

From “Start here – Is employer coverage available?” this one-page, printable flowchart from the Kaiser Family Foundation takes you through a series of yes/no questions to show how coverage determinations are made and what coverage options are available in different circumstances.

The Requirement to Buy Coverage

Along with changes to the health insurance system that guarantee access to coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing health conditions, the Affordable Care Act includes a requirement that many people be insured or pay a penalty. This simple flowchart by the Kaiser Family Foundation illustrates how that requirement (sometimes known as an “individual mandate”) works.

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.

Health Reform and CLASS

This February 2011 brief from Health Reform GPS discusses implementation of the ACA’s Community Living Assistance Services and Support program, a voluntary, federally administered health insurance program designed to assist eligible individuals in purchasing long-term community living services and supports. To meet the needs of this group, Congress also as part of the ACA made a number of changes in Medicaid coverage of home and community based services.

State by State Enrollment in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan

This interactive table shows when each state began providing benefits to people accepted into the program and the number of people enrolled. Historical data in the table shows that Illinois had enrolled 943 people in the temporary program by November 2011 and had over 3,500 enrolled at its peak in May 2013. (more…)

The Young Invincibles on Health Care Reform

Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to mobilizing and expanding opportunities for young Americans age 18 to 34. Resources, news and fact sheets about health reform’s impact on young adults.

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