Illinois Healthcare Reform under the Affordable Care Act
As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), uninsured Illinoisans have new options for health coverage either through the state’s Medicaid program or through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace (the Marketplace). These options make it more affordable to get health coverage and meet the federal requirement that all individuals have health coverage starting in 2014.
Helpful Information for Filing Taxes
For tax year 2016, HFS will mail 1095-B tax forms between January 3 and March 2, 2017. This will show that you or someone in your household had qualifying health coverage as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This qualifying health coverage was in the form of a HFS Medical Program (Medicaid or All Kids). If you need help understanding the 1095-B form and what to do if you or someone in your household did not have a full year of qualifying health coverage, refer to the IRS website.
For more detailed information about the 1095-B, please visit the expanded IRS 1095-B FAQs
If you believe there is a mistake on your 1095-B form or you need a replacement form, you will need to speak to a state caseworker either by visiting your Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) or by calling the DHS Helpline at 1-800-843-6154 (TTY: 1-800-447-6460).
ALERT: IRS Alerts Consumers to the Insurance Penalty Tax Scam
The Internal Revenue Service is warning consumers about tax scams involving the Affordable Care Act and penalties imposed under the law on people who go without health insurance. In some cases, the agency said, unscrupulous tax preparers tell clients to pay the penalties directly to them, and they keep the money. Most people do not owe the payment at all. “However,” the I.R.S. said, “if you owe a payment, remember that it should be made only with your tax return or in response to a letter from the I.R.S. The payment should never be made directly to an individual or return preparer.” Refer to the IRS website if you get a letter in the mail from the IRS.
For more information on applying for health coverage in Illinois, or to make an appointment for in-person help on any issues related to health coverage in Illinois, call the Get Covered Illinois (GCI) Helpdesk at 1-866-311-1119 or, visit GetCoveredIllinois.gov.
Affordable Care Act Enrollment Data
Monthly data on the number of clients who enrolled in Illinois Medicaid as a result of the ACA eligibility expansion.
Illinois Expands Medicaid
Now, thanks to the ACA and IL Public Act 98-104 (pdf), more adults are eligible for Medicaid in Illinois and the public is able to apply for Medicaid through a new, online application called the Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE).
Today, all Illinois residents between 19 and 64 years of age, who are U.S. citizens or who have legal status, and who have monthly income less than $1,366 for an individual or $1,845 for a couple, are eligible for Medicaid through the “ACA Adult” category. This means Illinois Medicaid now provides health coverage for low income individuals who are seniors, persons with disabilities, parents/caretakers of dependent children, “ACA adults,” pregnant women and children (under the All Kids program).
ABE – Application for Benefits Eligibility
Illinois now has a multi-benefit, web-based application system known as the Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE). Through ABE, applicants can apply online for Medicaid, SNAP and Cash Assistance. ABE replaced the DHS web application and the All Kids Online Application. HFS has developed a Guide as an introduction to the new web portal. For community partners, including Illinois Assisters, there is a separate Guide that has the basic information on completing an application as well as instructions on how to register in ABE as a community partner.
Healthcare Reform Implementation Efforts in Illinois
Alert Regarding Health Insurance Marketplace Precautions
Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace
For those who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicaid, the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace (The Marketplace) is an online shopping website where you can compare health insurance plans side-by-side, and receive financial help from the government to help pay insurance costs. The next Open Enrollment Period for the Marketplace will be November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015. After that date, only people who qualify for a Special Enrollment Period will be able to buy coverage. To see if you qualify to buy coverage on the Marketplace, or to find out more about the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace in Illinois, go to www.getcoveredillinois.gov
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, check out the following:
Long Term Care