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ACA Under Attack

Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan has join a coalition of 16 Attorneys General that are opposing a lawsuit filed by Texas and several other states.

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Stop Junk Insurance in Illinois

Quality and affordable health insurance should be available to every Illinoisan and every American citizen, full stop. Unfortunately, this notion is being challenged by pending federal regulations that could result in a large expansion of the number of short term plans offered to hardworking Illinoisans. Short term plans differ from other health insurance plans; their long lists of what is not covered leaves many consumers with expensive medical bills. Plans sold in Illinois can exclude coverage for preexisting conditions, prescription drugs, hospital room and board on a weekend, and treatment for mental and health or substance abuse disorders.

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Press for Progress: International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day, Legal Council is celebrating all of the historic gains to women’s coverage won through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion! With these expansive health policies, women now have greater access to maternity care, improved breast cancer care, and the guarantee that insurance companies cannot charge women more for coverage. Other gains for women’s coverage include: States that expanded Medicaid (including Illinois!) saw improved newborn outcomes, with significant decreases in infant mortality. (Newsweek, Jan. 31, 2018) Uninsured rate for women of reproductive age decreased. (Women’s Health Issues Journal, Feb. 28, 2018) Uninsured rate for women with gynecologic cancer decreased. (Gynecologic Oncology, June 2017) With lower costs, more women received mammogram screenings, improving the care and prevention of breast cancer. (Brown University, Jan. 17, 2018) Despite these gains, we also know that the fight for health justice...

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More Reasons to Hate Government Bureaucracies

After 25 years helping people with HIV battle heartless bureaucrats, we’ve spent so much time pulling our hair that we’re all nearly bald.  At least metaphorically.  And this week we’ve been ripping at our follicles anew. Our client Robert is trying to get his federal student loan discharged because he is permanently disabled.  In fact, he’s been receiving Social Security disability benefits for about a decade.  He’s got host of medical problems that severely limit his ability to function, as his doctor detailed on the official government form used to request a disability-based student loan discharge.  We’ll call the doctor’s description Exhibit A: Exhibit A Pulmonary fibrosis … severe hypoxia … 24-hour oxygen support … AIDS … insulin-dependent diabetes … severe sleep apnea.  So of course you’re thinking, “Sallie Mae must have approved his request lickety split.”  Clearly you...

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Happy News in a Budget Crisis

Illinois is megasuperduper bankrupt.  That’s old news.  But we’re happy to report some megasuperduper good news when it comes to helping people with HIV afford their health insurance costs in the middle of a megasuperduper budget crisis.  The Illinois CHIC program, which pays certain insurance premiums for folks with HIV, has expanded its services.  We’ll say it again:  at a time when no one in Illinois government has two nickles to rub together, the CHIC program, which is run by the Illinois Department of Public Health, is able to help more people.  Can I get an ‘amen?’  Or at least a ‘woo hoo?’ OK, so here are the specifics: CHIC is now able to pay the premium for your Medicare Part D plan (that’s your prescription drug plan) CHIC will pay your COBRA premium up to $750 a month (the limit...

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ObamaCare is Good for People with HIV

Yeah, yeah, we know the term “ObamaCare” is often used to denigrate the Affordable Care Act, which the President signed into law on March 23, 2010.  But since Mr. Obama himself recently said he doesn’t mind the term — since it suggests that he cares about the health insurance needs of Americans — we’re going to use it, too.  The Affordable Care Act is one heck of a big piece legislation.  Understanding all of its intricacies is beyond most mortals.  But the nearly-immortal brainiacs at HIV Health Reform have as a good a handle on the law as anybody.   And they’ve just put out a fact sheet entitled, “Six Ways the Affordable Care Act Will Help People with HIV.”  Here’s perhaps our favorite of the six: 4. Private health insurance companies will have to play by the new rules. The health...

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