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What health reform means for the people of Illinois

A blog by IllinoisHealthMatters.org

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Health Care Law's Impact on Children and Families in Illinois

Welcome to Illinois Health Matters - the website for information and action advice regarding our state's implementation of the nation's health reform law. The law has a tremendous amount in store for children and families of all income levels and all kinds of health insurance coverage. As you may have heard, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a huge sprawling canvas, with provisions about many different reforms. It can be a hard thing to wrap your arms around. Don't worry, we'll have the information here.

Here are some of the things you will be able to find here:
  • What about all those insurance industry reforms? How will they affect Illinois families? When will they take effect -- or have they already? This includes issues like pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps, rescission of policies just when you need them the most, and controls on insurance industry profits.
  • How is Illinois doing on setting up the Health Insurance Exchange, where people will shop for insurance starting in 2014? Will the exchange help to make sure policies provide comprehensive, decent, affordable coverage? How will people be able to access the subsidies that will help them pay premiums for private insurance and keep their out of pocket costs to a reasonable limit? Will the Exchange be the place to go even if the family might be eligible for a public insurance program like Medicaid rather than private insurance? What if family income fluctuates in and out of the ranges for public and private insurance -- can people go back and forth smoothly?
  • There will be changes to the public programs, too. What will happen when Medicaid will expand to cover all those low income kids who used to just age off of Medicaid at age 18? How will children's insurance change when the Exchange goes into effect? How does Illinois' new Medicaid Reform law square with the implementation of national health reform for children and families? Are they consistent? 
  • As Illinois implements all of these changes, what can advocates and concerned citizens do? What are the deadlines? What are the recommended action steps? When are the key votes?
Stay tuned for this information here at Illinois Health Matters. We will have links to information, action steps, advocacy alerts, and more.

John Bouman
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

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