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September 2014

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The Rules Have Changed: Open Enrollment Round 2enrollment

The next open enrollment period is just around the corner, but things are not going to be exactly like they were last time. For one thing, the glitches on the federal website have been sorted out, and millions have already enrolled.

But now, time is short, which means that those helping with enrollment or working in the health and social service sectors have to do their part to help educate and direct individuals who are still uninsured. The first open enrollment lasted for six months, but this time there are only three months in which to enroll – from November 15th to February 15th, 2015.

This means a lot of the work has to happen prior to open enrollment. Can you direct clients and staff to resources that help people pick plans and get them connected with assisters to help with enrollment? You bet! Even if your organization isn't directly doing outreach or enrollment assistance, if you have people walking through your door you can help.

IHM is encouraging members of all organizations to do three things Spread the word that health insurance is available to almost everyone. Direct individuals to health insurance navigators to enroll. Supply resources that help individuals pick a plan and use health insurance.

Here's how you can do all three with ease:

  1. Tell people that health insurance is available and that enrollment is fast approaching.
  2. Direct clients to the navigator finder at or call 866-311-1119 in advance to set up an initial appointment before open enrollment begins.
  3. Check out Consumer Info collection to find greatresources that assist in marketplace plan selection.
  4. Sit back and relax, knowing that you helped make the world a healthier place today!

From our blog

Providers Will Make Medicaid Coordinated Care a Success If the opening of the health insurancemarketplace taught people anything, it’s that choosinghealth insurance is tough.Suddenly, people had to make a thorough evaluation of their finances, the types of care they depended on, the medications they needed, and more.Equally important, but receiving a lot less attention are the similar challenges facing people who are trying to pick a coordinated care plan under Medicaid. Read more...

Do you have an idea for an interesting blog post about the ACA, health reform or healthcare in Illinois? We've posted writing guidelines for posts on the IHM blog, and would love to get some good submissions to share with our community.

On our site

We have slightly fresher home page, drawing attentionto the multiple health reform changes taking place in Illinois right now, and highlighting the new IHM topic collections that people will want to check out. As you may know, the tag cloud on the right sideof IHM pages emphasizes the topics with the most items, so we want to make sure our visitors are aware of new and emerging areas of interest. ... We've been promoting our topics and other useful destination pages, such as For Consumers and For Providers, in social media, and invite you to check them out, bookmark and share them. ... As always, drop us a line at with your thoughts and suggestions.

In case you missed it

Premiums not skyrocketing: Some are going down. In 16 major cities, the average premium for a silver plan will decline a smidge. The changes range from an 8.7% increase in Nashville to a 15.6% drop in Denver.

ACA "Data match": Outcome of immigrants' unverified status remains murky. CMS reportedly told advocates that they had not received additional data from 239,000 of the 310,000 individuals whose applications were flagged for additional documentation.

And, just in: 82 Illinois hospitals were found to have unacceptably highreadmissions. The fines, for failing to reduce the rate of preventable Medicaid readmissions, will total $16.3 million.

Recent resources

Build a great patient portal
Patient Portal Features: Benefits and Frustrations for Consumers

You have insurance, now see the doc
Finding the Right Doctor

Healthy behaviors where we live, work, and play
Interactive Social Determinants of Health

Communicate with the Health Insurance Marketplace
7 Things to Know about Reporting a Life Change


MMW Basic Training – September 15 & 16 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days
Oak Park Library (834 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois)
Topics include introduction to Medicare and Medicaid, Medicaid managed care programs, and the ACA
Nonprofits register here. For-profits register here.

Check out the Illinois Health Matters Events page for up to date training and educational opportunities on health care and health reform.

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 Are you in good health? Do you have savings for unexpected health costs? Consider options for OPEN ENROLLMENT #ACA word of the week #ACAwow

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: Illinois to have access to http://healthcare.govfor small business

On Facebook
Still haven't heard of subsidies? This form of financial assistance was granted to 77% of Illinoisians to help to pay premiums (your monthly cost of health insurance policy). Apply for financial assistance when you enroll on the marketplace (next enrollment on Nov. 15th – just an early reminder)

On LinkedIn
Posted in "Healthcare Reform": And meanwhile ... Halbig marches on "If the full court comes out in favor of the administration, the prospect of Supreme Court involvement would be greatly reduced" - but a successful challenge would mean premium increases averaging 75% for more than 4 million Americans. D.C. Circuit Court Agrees To Re-hear Obamacare Case

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 send us your question here. If you have friends or colleagus interested in these issues, please feel free to forward the newsletter to tthem.

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