Illinois Healthcare Reform under the Affordable Care Act
As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most uninsured Illinoisans and people currently covered under an Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (ICHIP) 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.
Individuals on an Illinois Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) or an Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (ICHIP)
If you are currently on an Illinois PCIP or an ICHIP, Traditional or HIPAA Plan, please go to GetCoveredIllinois.gov and answer the questions at “Explore Your Health Coverage Options.” If you or a family member are told you are likely eligible for Medicaid, you can fill out an application on the ABE website (Application for Benefits Eligibility) or by phone at 1-800-843-6154 and follow the prompts to apply for health coverage over the phone. If you are currently on PCIP or ICHIP and have questions or need help applying for Medicaid, email the HFS Webmaster.
If you are currently on an ICHIP plan and enroll in one of the new coverage options, including Medicaid, be sure to terminate your ICHIP coverage. Termination of ICHIP coverage must be in writing and signed by the ICHIP member. Include documentation of the effective date of your new coverage. A termination of coverage form can be found on the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan Website. Notice of termination is not required for the PCIP, since the program is ending.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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 are eligible for Medicaid in Illinois and the public is 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, and who have monthly income less than $1,342 for an individual or $1,809 for a couple, are eligible for Medicaid through the new “ACA Adult” category. This means Illinois Medicaid now provides health coverage for low income individuals who are seniors, persons with disabilities, parents/caretakers of dependent children, “ACA adults,” pregnant women and children (under the All Kids program).
Illinois now has a 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 replaced 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.
The ABE application has been enhanced since its October debut and the federal poverty levels for all Medicaid programs have now been updated for 2014. See listings below.
Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace
For those who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicaid, the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace (The 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. The first Open Enrollment Period for the Marketplace will close on March 31, 2014. After that date, only people who qualify for a Special Enrollment Period will be able to buy coverage. To buy coverage on the Marketplace, go to www.Healthcare.gov
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, check out the following:
Long Term Care