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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

Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

 The Illinois Department of Insurance site provides information on the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). SHIP is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. A Medicare Supplement Premium Comparison Guide is available, as is Medicaid Related and Long Term Care Information

By Patricia Smolin on April 19, 2012 Categories: Consumer, Health, Insurance, Seniors

Small Business Jobs Act and the IRS

On Sept. 27, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act, a significant piece of small business legislation. The tax provisions intended to lend support, tax cuts, and other opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  Tax Information for Small Businesses also have a link for Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center.
 
Additional info regarding detailed credits and translated IRS sites follow:
  
Hiring Credits:
English http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220326,00.html
Spanish http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220499,00.html
 
Health Care Tax Credit:
English http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=223666,00.html
Spanish http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=224438,00.html
 
Spanish
Business Page (Spanish): http://www.irs.gov/espanol/content/0,,id=162902,00.html
Spanish Information for Individuals & Businesses: http://www.irs.gov/espanol/
By MPPL on March 9, 2011 Categories: Business, Employment, Health, Insurance, Jobs, Taxes

Illinois health insurance plan options

A new health insurance plan will open this morning and be made available on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify in Illinois. The plan is called Illinois Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (IPXP) and details for enrollment are available as are applications at http://www.insurance.illinois.gov/ipxp/.

Another plan to consider is the ICHIP, the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan, for those who are either presently uninsured or will soon have exhausted COBRA benefits.

By MPPL on August 20, 2010 Categories: Health, Insurance

Tax Credit to Help Small Businesses

Small business and tax-exempt organizations which meet certain criteria may now qualify for a special tax credit when they provide health insurance coverage to their employees.

Details on this part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are available at the IRS site.

By MPPL on June 17, 2010 Categories: Business, Health, Insurance, Jobs

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