Updates on health care reform in Illinois

December 2016

There undoubtedly will be quite a bit of change as a result of the election, and the implications for health and health care policy are substantial. A number of half-baked policy proposals have been floated by congressional leaders and the president-elect. Advocates across Illinois are activating to preserve the progress made by the Affordable Care Act and other reforms.

 Make Sure Congress Knows: Illinois Benefits from the ACA

Advocacy and health care organizations across the state are signing on to a letter urging Gov. Rauner to oppose congressional efforts to repeal the ACA. If you have the authority to sign on for your organization, you can do so here

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Reps. Brady, Upton, and Kline sent a letter to governors and insurance commissioners across the country asking for input into several proposed health reforms and what Congress can do to address affordability, costs, choice, and health outcomes. The governor and insurance commissioner of the State of Washington have already weighed in through a letter to Majority Leader McCarthy. Don't you think it is time for our state to weigh in on how threats to the ACA are threats to the people of Illinois? Here is contact information for staff at the Department of Insurance.

Here is what you can tell them:

"Congress wants to know how to improve healthcare, and their ideas thus far could be dangerous. Help protect me and other residents of Illinois by responding to this letter sent by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy which you can find here. The State of Washington has already delivered their letter in response. Please use your voice to protect the health of people in Illinois."
 BENES Act promises progress for Medicare.

Passing the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification Act would improve the Medicare Part B enrollment process, reducing confusion for consumers and helping them avoid costly late enrollment penalties! 
The BENES Act has received four new co-sponsors: Reps. Kelly (R-PA), Pascrell (D-NJ), Young (R-IN), and Lofgren (R-CA).

But where are our congresspeople in Illinois?
We need Illinois' senators and representatives to support HR5772 & S3236. Contact yours todayThe BENES Act Advocacy Kit includes a sample letter and contact information for the offices of the senators and target representatives. You can personalize this letter with details of your work with individuals on Medicare.
Mail and email this letter to our senators and your representatives  to encourage them to support this bill now, and should the bill be reintroduced in the next session of Congress.
So we can track your action, please blind copy   info@illinoishealthmatters.org .

 Mandatory Managed Care Enrollment Suspended in Central IL

HFS issued a  notice stating that as of December 1, 2016, mandatory enrollment into managed care is suspended in central Illinois. 

Molina Healthcare is the only plan providing services in that region now that Health Alliance will no longer provide Medicaid plans . This being the case, managed care for Medicaid cannot be mandated unless there is the opportunity for consumer choice. Until another Medicaid health plan enters the region, enrollment into Medicaid health plans is optional, and individuals cannot be automatically enrolled into a plan.

 In Case You Missed It

The Illinois Coalition for Health Access has a new website where it is collecting stories of how people are impacted by the ACA. Submit yours http://www.ilcha.org

LOL Illinois Campaign says financial crisis is #nolaughingmatter New campaign launched by the Civic Committee aims to push for a responsible balanced budget and "make enough noise that they won't have a choice but to hear us."

What is at stake for Illinois   Families USA has released a report detailing what each state stands to lose if the new president and Congress decide to make drastic changes to health care. In Illinois, 1.2 million people are expected to lose coverage.

 From Our Social Media

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters:  It would be a mistake to miss the open enrollment deadline and lose the chance to get coverage http://bit.ly/2fTlaOc

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: Are you afraid of the potential loss of the #ACA ? Let Speaker Ryan know. Call 202-225-0600 and then press 2 to participate in a survey.

On Facebook
We've talked a lot about premium hikes, but how did it happen? Here's a quick explanation  http://bit.ly/2f4Z7Ht

Emily Gelber-Maturo & Elizabeth Smart
Health & Disability Advocates

Please forward this newsletter to friends or colleagues who are interested in how the ACA and other developments are impacting health care in Illinois with. If you have questions or suggestions, email us at info@illinoishealthmatters.org .
Illinois Health Matters     *    illinoishealthmatters.org