2018 has been a year of opportunity when it comes to state legislation to address the high and rising prices of prescription drugs. Families USA has identified some of the 2018 state legislative sessions’ biggest victories on the issue of prescription drug costs, along with significant legislation considered in the 2018 session that may be on the agenda again in 2019.
One Illinois legislator is taking action so that residents in his state will no longer have to suffer without recourse when generic drug manufacturers engage in the practice of price gouging. Families USA has been proud to work with State Representative Will Guzzardi from Illinois’ 39th District on HB 4900, legislation that Rep. Guzzardi introduced in the state legislature to create generic drug pricing fairness and stop price gouging in Illinois.
Here Families USA interviews Rep. Guzzardi on how high prescription drug prices hurt Illinois families, and how HB 4900 will help make drugs more affordable in the state.
With a new president and Congress, the health care gains made throughout the last six years face their greatest threat yet. Congress has voted more than 60 times to roll back the historic progress that has been made to expand health coverage to millions of people in this country and to improve coverage for those who already had it. These proposed changes will put the health—and lives—of countless Illinoisans at risk. Here’s what Illinois stands to lose if the new president and Congress move forward to upend our health care system:
Several important health equity victories coincided with Hispanic Heritage Month.
We got news that the Latino uninsured rate is lower than ever, there is more progress in immigrant access to health care in California and Illinois, and the federal government saved Ohio’s Medicaid program from harsh restrictions that would have cut access to health care for tens of thousands of people.
Click here for our monthly roundup of top new health equity resources, event, and jobs.
In 2014, Illinois accepted federal funds to provide health insurance to more low-income residents through Medicaid. Medicaid expansion gives Illinois residents with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($27,720 for a family of three in 2015) the chance to enroll in affordable health insurance. Our analysis finds that 53 percent of those who stand to gain health coverage because of Medicaid expansion are working.
States that expand Medicaid are making high-quality health coverage available to many hard-working people who would not otherwise have insurance. These individuals don’t qualify for regular Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. We looked at data from 11 states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and found that the majority of residents who can benefit from expanded Medicaid are employed.
The Supreme Court, in the King v. Burwell case, will soon decide whether millions of people in 34 states will lose premium tax credits they rely on to make health insurance affordable. Without those tax credits, most of the people affected would be unable to buy insurance and would become uninsured.
Our infographic series show how many people would lose their premium tax credits in every congressional district in the 34 states that did not establish their own marketplace.
With the close of open enrollment only 10 days away, health insurance marketplaces are planning extra events and longer hours to encourage last-minute signups. Yesterday, as part of our open enrollment teleconference series, we heard from five enrollment leaders in states where the federal government runs the marketplace.
Many states are offering extended hours during the final weekend of open enrollment to make sure as many people as possible get covered.
Health Insurance Marketplace Experts: Savvier Consumers Prioritizing Health Care Needs over Premiums
With the second open enrollment period three weeks under way, we continued our series of talks with enrollment experts and journalists on December 3. Speakers shared how enrollment is unfolding in four of the federally facilitated marketplaces: Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and Florida. There was general consensus among the experts that the emerging trend for second enrollment is that consumers renewing their coverage are savvier shoppers—thinking about how their health plans will meet their health needs rather than only focusing on the cost of monthly premiums. And they are asking more targeted questions about benefits and providers