How Health Care Reform is Making A Difference In Illinois

Medical malpractice in America remains a thorny and contentious issue, made no less so by its virtual exclusion from the Affordable Care Act governing healthcare reform in America. The Affordable Care Act gives hardworking families in Illinois the security they deserve.

The new health care law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy because of an annual or lifetime limit, or, soon, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition.

All Americans will have the security of knowing that they don’t have to worry about losing coverage if they’re laid off or change jobs. And insurance companies now have to cover your preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings. The new law also makes a significant investment in State and community-based efforts that promote public health, prevent disease and protect against public health emergencies.

> Health reform is already making a difference for the people of Illinois by:

Providing new coverage options for young adults

Health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family coverage, and, thanks to this provision, 3.1 million young people have gained coverage nationwide.

Making prescription drugs affordable for seniors

Thanks to the new healthcare law, 152,170 people with Medicare in Illinois received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. Since the law was enacted, Illinois residents with Medicare have saved a total of $155,851,726 on their prescription drugs.

Covering preventive services with no deductible or co-pay

In 2011, 1,353,031 people with Medicare in Illinois received free preventative services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. And in the first six months of 2012, 763,441 people with Medicare received free preventive services.

Removing lifetime limits on health benefits

The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits.

Preventing illness and promoting health

Since 2010, Illinois has received $31 million in grants from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act. This new fund was created to support effective policies in Illinois, its communities, and nationwide so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives.

At the same time, progress will have been made in ensuring that tests and treatments proven to work are being applied to patients. Most important, some 32 million previously uninsured Americans will enjoy the physical and psychological benefits of knowing they have health insurance.

A core principle of the discipline of operations research is that a successful solution has to be at least as complex as the problem. The health-reform law is certainly complex, but so is the so-called U.S. health-care system.

Few pieces of legislation prove to be perfect on enactment, and our world is constantly changing. There will be changes we wish to make as implementation unfolds, and these can be accomplished. The law offers all of us the opportunity to put our shoulders to the wheel to ensure successful implementation and identify areas for improvement.

The current clamor for repeal is a fool’s mission. Let’s hope such talk dies a natural death as the benefits of the law become more concrete, beginning today. For too long, many hardworking Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies and put barriers between patients and their doctors. The Affordable Care Act gives hardworking families in Illinois the security they Deserve.

Celeste Botonakis

On the Nursing Assistant Guides blog, certified medical assistant Celeste Botonakis explores the daily life of a CMA. She'll keep you up-to-date with the latest on what’s happening in the field, and provides tips for those who are interested in becoming a medical or nursing assistant. Celeste has served in the medical field for over six years, and is passionate about helping people. She currently works at CSR Primary Care in Skokie, Illinois. Click here to learn more about Celeste Botonakis and