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News from the Reference Desk

Insurance Enrollment Assistance

It’s the time of year when many health insurance decisions must be made. If you need assistance in determining the best options, here’s some help:

Medicare Open Enrollment:

The Medicare Open Enrollment period began on Oct. 15 and runs until Dec. 7. The Illinois Dept. on Aging offers assistance through the department’s Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP.) Their counselors can explain the drug, health, and supplemental plans that are available. The nearest SHIP sites are at Arlington Heights Senior Center (847/253-5532) and Wheeling Township (847/259-7730.) For additional SHIP information, call 800/252-8966 or click here .

The Village of Mount Prospect Human Services Department also offers assistance for Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) enrollment. Call 847/870-5680 to set up an appointment.

Affordable Care Act Marketplace:

The enrollment period for uninsured people to sign up for coverage through the Illinois Marketplace runs from Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. If you want your insurance coverage to start on Jan. 1, 2015, you must enroll by Dec. 15, 2014.

The Library is offering several programs to assist those using the Illinois Marketplace. Representatives from Get Covered Illinois will present an overview program,” Affordable Care Act Update,” on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. The Library will also host two enrollment events with trained navigators from Get Covered Illinois to provide assistance in navigating the site and signing up for insurance. The enrollment events are on Dec. 13, 2014, and Jan. 31, 2015,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 847/392-8682 ext. 227. Walk-ins are also welcome.

By JoR on October 22, 2014 Categories: Community, Consumer, Health, Health Care Reform, Insurance, Seniors

Affordable Care Act to Create Temporary Jobs in Illinois

Approximately 800 temporary workers will be needed to help consumers apply for coverage, and will answer questions and explain differences between the insurance policies offered on the new online marketplace. They will help consumers figure out if they’re eligible for Medicaid or for new tax credits that will help many people pay for coverage.

Job applications are being collected online and anyone hired will get three days of training about health insurance, enrollment rules and other complicated aspects of the health law. Illinois must act quickly to be ready for Oct. 1, the first day of enrollment for the law’s new insurance opportunities.

Each in-person counselor must complete state and federal training and a fingerprint-based background check to become certified by the Illinois Department of Insurance. The training involves one day of online work and two days of in-person education.

If interested, please apply at: http://workinillinois-healthmarketplace.jobs/

By Patricia Smolin on August 22, 2013 Categories: Employment, Health Care Reform, Insurance, Jobs

CEDA to Help with ACA Health Insurance Enrollment

CEDA Northwest in coordination with the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace will be enrolling Illinois residents in new coverage options and affordability programs made available through the Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), beginning October 1, 2013.

Residents served will be those without health insurance and/or expected to benefit from the ACA’s expansion of the Medicaid program and provision of financial assistance for the purchase of Qualified Health Plans on the newly created Health Insurance Marketplace.

For more information or to setup an appointment, please contact Jessica Salgado at CEDA Northwest Self-Help Center, 1300 W. Northwest Highway, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (847-392-2332).

By Patricia Smolin on August 15, 2013 Categories: Health, Health Care Reform, Insurance

Affordable Care Act: How to Get Ready

The Illinois Department of Insurance has provided a wealth of materials to help individuals and businesses prepare for the 10/1/13 opening of insurance options under the ACA.  State-prepared General Fact Sheets can be helpful to ready ourselves for the changes coming this fall.

Healthcare.gov, sponsored by the federal government, also has suggested tips to gather information ahead of time.

MPPL and other area public libraries will be offering programs to better inform communities about how the ACA will affect their choices and how to navigate the tools so individuals can make their own insurance selections.

 

By Patricia Smolin on July 31, 2013 Categories: Health, Health Care Reform, Insurance

Affordable Care Act for Small Business Owners

The Small Business Administration is offering webinars on the Affordable Care Act for small business owners.   Here is a description of the content:

This free webinar will focus on what the new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, means for small businesses. It will focus on both federal and state provisions to help local small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include:

•Small business tax credits (available to businesses and tax-exempt non-profits)— who’s eligible for them and how to claim them

•Marketplace updates

•Shared responsibility

•Cost containment

•Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law

A question and answer period will follow.

The webinar will be repeated at the following times:

•Thursday, August 1 at 1:00 PM CT

•Thursday, August 8 at 1:00 PM CT

•Thursday, August 15 at 1:00 PM CT

Registration instructions and information about the presenters are in the link above.

By julie collins on July 25, 2013 Categories: Business, Health Care Reform

Small Businesses: Illinois Continuation Law and Health Care

Not all terminated employees are eligible for COBRA, as they may have worked for a small company which employs 20 staff persons or less.  The Illinois Continuation Law outlines what type of coverage may be available in this circumstance, as well as the Illinois Spousal Continuation Law, the Illinois Dependent Child Continuation Law and the federal continuation requirements under COBRA.

By MPPL on September 18, 2009 Categories: Employment, Health Care Reform, Insurance, Jobs

Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (ICHIP)

The Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) is a state health benefits program; it is funded partly by premiums paid by its participants and, to the extent that premiums do not meet anticipated expenses, may receive an appropriation from the State's General Revenue Fund for eligible persons covered under traditional plans.

To apply for coverage online, receive a summary of benefits, or access the premium calculator to estimate monthly costs, please visit http://www.chip.state.il.us/ or call 866-851-2751. Representatives can also assist with the transition from health insurance coverage with a term ending under COBRA to ICHIP.

By MPPL on September 6, 2009 Categories: Employment, Health, Health Care Reform, Insurance

Health Care Reform

With so much information and misinformation in the news regarding the current health care reform debate, it difficult to know where to find reliable sources.  The following sites have provided comprehensive, factual guides to the issue:

For government coverage of the issue, plus the current versions of the Senate and House bills:

And finally, from BarackObama.com: Setting the Record Straight

By MPPL on August 19, 2009 Categories: Health, Health Care Reform, Insurance