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July 7, 2014

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Health Reform that Just Won't Quit

Illinois is moving full speed ahead, implementing health reforms left and right. Just when we thought things were quieting down – after our Medicaid expansion and the ACA open enrollment period – Medicaid care coordination enrollment is happening right now for new care coordination programs. Most Medicaid members will be required to participate in care coordination, through either a managed care organization or a provider group. They will be notified of their options through a letter. See our topic page to get caught up with this rapidly moving reform.

Preventive dental services were reinstated for Medicaid starting this month. And now, if Governor Quinn signs HB 5412, we will have a whole new recognized category of healthcare provider: the "community health worker." A CHW will be a frontline public health worker who serves as an intermediary between health, social services, and the community. Woah! Read more about the specifics of this role as defined in HB 5412.

Meanwhile, as you have no doubt heard, the U.S. Supreme Court made a significant decision on June 30 in Sebelius (Burwell) v. Hobby Lobby, limiting access to contraceptive care options due to corporate religious objection. Read this analysis of the decision and its implications by the EverThrive IL policy staff.

From our blog

Learn. Connect. Share. PTSD Treatment Helps
The Fourth of July comes only four days after the end of PTSD Awareness Month, but many people are not aware of the impact this holiday has on combat veterans with PTSD. For many of them, these exuberant displays of sound and light trigger combat flashbacks that last long after the last sparkler has fizzed out for the night. But awareness of PTSD is growing. And the Affordable Care Act requires qualified health plans to include mental health services as an essential health benefit. The ACA also outlaws discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, so individuals with PTSD or other mental health symptoms need not be worried that they will be denied coverage or that their coverage will be cancelled. Read more...

On our site

The role of the Illinois Health Matters website has necessarily evolved as ACA implementation became a reality, and we've been working to make it continue to be a go-to resource as we all move forward. Here are some highlights.

The federal rulemaking info on the "ACA for Lawyers" page has been completely revamped and update through the efforts of our partners at the Shriver Center; they plan to tackle our state regs next. We've been tweeting a "Word of the Week" to help people become more familiar with health care vocabulary and the resources that go with it, and there is now an archive at the site.

Our much-used Resource Repository has been reborn as the Illinois Health Resources, a searchable website created by Get Covered Illinois and the UIC School of Public Health. And do you remember the ACA implementation Timeline and Myths and Facts sections from IHM's original home page? They now each have their own page, complete with fresh myths (they are always hatching newsones!).

You should by all means feel free to link to these or any other pages at IHM that will serve your constituency! And as always, drop us a line at with your thoughts and suggestions.

In case you missed it

#SOE2014 – More than 800 people attended EnrollAmerica's "State of Enrollment: America Covered 2014" conference, held June 16-18 in Washington, D.C. ACA specialists and activists shared their strategies, lessons learned, and keys to enrollment success to help each other gear up for November.

ACA auto-enrollment – HHS Secretary Burwell announced a plan to allow consumers enrolled in the ACA Marketplace to be auto-enrolled for next year if they do not want to make changes. This would be similar to the way most private plans work now, and should ease the process in the fall for current enrollees.

Recent resources

Medicaid adult dental coverage restored in Illinois
Dental Services Under Medicaid

"When will I get a Care Coordination Letter?"
Medicaid Managed Care Coordination Mail Schedule

Healthcare coverage options for taxi drivers
What's in the ACA for Taxi Drivers?

Options for small businesses
How to Buy a SHOP Plan


Attend the webinar: Special Enrollment and Resources for the Uninsured - HHS Partner Center July 16 at 1pm

Find enrollment events in your area at the Get Covered Illinois Events page.

Find volunteer and community engagement opportunities at Get Covered America Events page.

Download a presentation and/or watch a recording from the EverThrive Illinois Webinar series.

Learn what the ACA means for a small business owner from the Small Business Majority's Thursday talks.

From our social media

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: What would it look like if Illinois performed like other states? @commonwealthfnd

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: Health reform starts w/prevention. Learn how to in the workplace w/ @CDCgov’s article #PPHF #wellnesswednesday

On Facebook
Bring a pen and paper too! You don't have to remember all the info. Write it down. Make a list of questions or concerns you would like to discuss before you visit your doctor. Learn more tips about how to use your new #HealthInsurance at

On LinkedIn
Posted in "Healthcare Reform": Shifting away from employer-based insurance? While some have suggested that workers may get better deals in the Marketplace, a move away from coverage at work is big change, and people are nervous Workers Worried Employers Will Move Them To Obamacare Exchanges

For the latest on how the new health care law is impacting Illinois, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. You can also email us at or submit your question here about how healthcare reform affects you.

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