Illinois Healthcare Reform under the Affordable Care Act
As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most uninsured Illinoisans will have new options for health coverage starting January 1, 2014–either through the state’s Medicaid program or through the new Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace (the Marketplace). These options will make it more affordable to get health coverage and meet the federal requirement that all individuals have health coverage in 2014. For more information on applying for health coverage in Illinois, and to find out what health care option may be right for you, visit: GetCoveredIllinois.gov
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This will be continually updated, check the date at the bottom of the document. New FAQs will be added to the beginning of the relevant sections for the next couple of months. Additional sections on Illinois Assisters and Justice-Involved Populations will be coming next week.
Healthcare Reform Implementation Efforts in Illinois
Alert Regarding Health Insurance Marketplace Precautions
Illinois Expands Medicaid
Now, thanks to the ACA and IL Public Act 98-104 (pdf), more adults will be eligible for Medicaid in Illinois and the public will be able to apply for Medicaid through a new, online application called the Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE).
Beginning January 1, 2014, all Illinois residents between 19 and 64 years of age who are U.S. citizens or who have legal status, who do not have dependent children, and who have annual incomes less than $15,800 for an individual or $21,400 for a couple, will be eligible for Medicaid. Adults can apply for the expanded Medicaid program starting in October 2013.
This means Illinois will cover all very low-income people in the Medicaid program, including adults without dependent children who do not fit into one of the categories currently required for adults. Current categories are seniors, persons with disabilities, parents/caretakers of dependent children, or pregnant women. Illinois Medicaid also covers children under its All Kids program.
Beginning in October, Illinois will have a new, multi-benefit, web-based application system known as the Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE). Through ABE, applicants can apply online for Medicaid, SNAP and Cash Assistance. ABE replaces the DHS web application and the All Kids Online Application. HFS has developed a Guide as an introduction to the new web portal. For community partners, including Illinois Assisters, there is a separate Guide that has the basic information on completing an application as well as instructions on how to register in ABE as a community partner.
Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace
For those who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicaid, the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace is a new online shopping website where you can compare health insurance plans side-by-side, and where there is financial help from the government to help pay insurance costs. Coverage starts January 1, 2014 for those who enroll by December 15, 2013. You can begin the enrollment process starting on October 1, 2014.
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, check out the following: