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
News from the Reference Desk
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/.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- HealthReform.gov is the official government guide to the issue
- The White House: Health Care
- Senate Bill: Affordable Health Choices Act (615pp.)
- House Bill: America's Affordable Health Choices Act (1018pp.)
And finally, from BarackObama.com: Setting the Record Straight