SPRINGFIELD – November 16, 2010. A panel created by Governor Pat Quinn to guide Illinois’ implementation of national health care reform held its fourth public hearing today in Springfield. Topics of the meeting in Springfield included the implications of health care reform for the state’s Medicaid program as well as the rules governing the state’s future health insurance exchange.
“Making sure that everyone in Illinois has access to quality, affordable health care is one of my top priorities,” said Governor Quinn. “We must ensure that everyone in Illinois is protected from unfair increases in their insurance premiums, and that people in the Medicaid program receive cost-effective, high quality care.”
In 2014, approximately 700,000 additional Illinois residents will be eligible for Medicaid coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Governor Quinn’s Health Care Implementation Council is exploring the impact of the ACA on the state and considering the changes in Medicaid policy that will be required to achieve efficiencies in the cost and delivery of health care. The panel is focusing on issues of continuity of care as people move in and out of the Medicaid program and participate in the state’s insurance exchange; integrated care models for Medicaid beneficiaries to improve care quality; and changes in long-term care policies affected by the ACA.
The panel today also issued a detailed list of questions that will be taken into account as the state considers the options for creating a health benefit exchange for Illinois. Under the ACA, states have the option of establishing a health benefit exchange in order to create a marketplace for individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance and gain access to other public benefits. The council is requesting comments relating to health benefit exchanges by Dec. 3. A report listing the key questions on the topic of exchanges is posted at the council’s web site: HealthCareReform.Illinois.gov
Governor Quinn has charged the Illinois Health Care Reform Implementation Council with creating a rigorous framework to implement the ACA in a way that protects consumers from unwarranted insurance premium hikes and provides affordable health insurance to more than one million additional Illinois residents. The federal act requires health insurance companies to provide a justification for premium increases. It also allows states to create rate review processes that can prevent companies that impose unwarranted rate increases from participating in the health care insurance exchanges created by the federal act.
The council will submit its first report to Governor Quinn by Dec. 31, followed by periodic reports on the implementation of its recommendations. In addition to attending the council’s meetings, members of the public can find more information and submit comments by visiting HealthCareReform.Illinois.gov.