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Exchanges Update

Yesterday was one of the final meetings for the legislative committee assembled to compile information and present findings for Illinois’ implementation of the Federal Affordable Care Act. The ICS submitted comments regarding the lack of ANY health care providers being slated for the upcoming Exchanges Board. Although in true bureaucratic fashion, a chunk of time was spent trying to clarify exactly what the purpose of the committee was to be.

Here are some stats from a recent analysis on the state of health insurance in Illinois:
52% are covered by employer provided plans
32% are covered by state or federal programs
4% by private plans
12% uninsured.

In the last 10 years employer sponsored plans dropped from 64%, while Medicaid more than doubled from 8%.

The purpose of the Exchange would be to provide a mostly online resource where individuals and small businesses (not yet defined–less than either 50 or 100 employees) could compare and select a variety of insurance plans. The ICS is working within the formative stages of this process to ensure that the resulting product is not a insurance or MD dominated system. Currently our biggest concern is the lack of any health care provider on the new exchange board, chiropractic or otherwise and that is something we will continue to fight for.

Good news however is that steps have been taken to reduce the influence of insurance companies on this board. Insurance industry, brokers, and agents will not be on the decision-making board, and it looks as if the committee will report back that any legislators who serve on the board should be non-voting members to reduce the perception that votes may be swayed by large political contributions. The current proposed makeup of the board is as follows:

– 2 small businesses (one Chicagoland and one downstate)
– 3 organizations representing communities of color
– 1 representing disability community
– 1 organized labor
– 1 women’s organization
– 2 consumer reps (Chicagoland and downstate)
– 1 health actuary
– 1 health economist
– 1 rural based organization

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