Welcome to the Illinois Health Matters Blog

What health reform means for the people of Illinois

A blog by IllinoisHealthMatters.org

Monday, November 24, 2014

People with Disabilities and the ACA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is making health insurance coverage more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans. With the passage of this law, individuals and families have more control over their care – especially individuals with disabilities. The ACA provides people with disabilities a basic protection – they can no longer be denied access to health insurance simply because of their health history.

Under the ACA, individuals like myself can no longer be denied health care because of a pre-existing condition. This is significant for the up to 129 million non-elderly Americans living with some type of pre-existing health condition such as asthma or diabetes, including 17.6 million children.

We have come a long way over the past year. All combined, in just one year, we’ve reduced the number of uninsured adults by 26%. Additionally, 76 million Americans with private health insurance are getting preventive services such as vaccines, cancer screenings, and yearly wellness visits for free. Finally, more than 7 million Americans are enrolled in the Marketplace and more than 8 million additional individuals are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, compared to last fall.

We have much to celebrate but there is work to be done. November 15 marks the beginning of the second enrollment period, which will run until February 15. The Administration is committed to ensuring that all Americans have access to coverage. The open enrollment period is a time for Americans already enrolled to re-enroll. It is also a chance for those without coverage to enroll for the first time.

Take a few minutes to watch Joey talk about what the ACA has meant for him and millions of others:

To learn more about getting covered, please visit HealthCare.gov.
By Taryn Williams
Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Posted with permission from The White House Blog 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Small Businesses in Illinois Lack Knowledge of What the ACA Has to Offer Them

With Illinois granted early access to the Small Business Health Options Program exchange, or SHOP, small businesses in the state already have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with a new online resource for purchasing health insurance for their employees.

For those that qualify, purchasing health insurance through the SHOP exchange can represent a smart business decision. They can receive tax credits covering up to 50% of their contribution to employee premiums, plus the SHOP allows small businesses to combine their purchasing with other small businesses to keep costs low.

The healthcare law does not require small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees to provide health insurance. Because 94% of businesses in Illinois employ fewer than 50 people, a large majority are exempt from offering health insurance.