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Illinois Medicaid pushes long-acting birth control

CHICAGO | Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration wants to double down on long-acting birth control methods for the poor in an effort to save taxpayer money on unplanned pregnancies, a strategy that is raising concern among Catholic health care systems.

September 03, 2014 7:29 am

Illinois opens insurance rate records to public

CHICAGO | State officials announced Tuesday that Illinois is giving the public online access for the first time to forms filed by insurers when they set the rates they'll charge, a move that consumer advocates called a step in the right direction.

August 05, 2014 6:55 pm

Illinois Medicaid restricts use of hepatitis drug

CHICAGO | Facing ballooning costs for a $1,000 pill to treat hepatitis C, Illinois' Medicaid program is putting tight restrictions in place, including requiring patients to meet 25 criteria and get prior approval before the government program will pay for the new drug.

July 30, 2014 3:30 pm

Illinois: Doctor faked pot paperwork

CHICAGO | Illinois regulators allege a suburban Chicago doctor misled a 79-year-old patient by issuing a bogus medical marijuana certification for a $250 fee, according to a formal complaint filed Monday.

July 28, 2014 3:58 pm

Medical marijuana rules OK'd by Illinois committee

CHICAGO | An Illinois legislative committee approved rules Tuesday for the state's medical cannabis program, which means would-be growers and retailers can soon apply for permits and get the new industry started.

July 15, 2014 6:30 pm

Illinois towns see jobs ahead in medical marijuana

CHICAGO | The prospect of adding jobs — even as few as 30 — has led officials in many shrinking Illinois' communities to set aside any qualms about the state's legalization of medical marijuana and to get friendly with would-be growers.

July 13, 2014 9:00 pm

Report details hurdles to immigrant health signups

CHICAGO | A poorly designed federal system prevented perhaps thousands of immigrants from enrolling in coverage under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, according to a preliminary report from an Illinois advocacy group.

June 19, 2014 3:50 pm
Political firm had key job in Get Covered Illinois

Political firm had key job in Get Covered Illinois

CHICAGO | A key subcontractor working on the campaign to promote President Barack Obama's health care law in Illinois is a Chicago political strategy consulting firm owned by three former aides to some of the state's most-powerful Democrats.

June 13, 2014 1:50 pm
Illinois health campaign among nation's costliest

Illinois health campaign among nation's costliest

CHICAGO | President Barack Obama's home state agreed to spend $33 million in federal money promoting his health care law, hiring a high-priced public relations firm for work that initially was mocked and spending far more per enrollee on television ads than any other large state.

June 12, 2014 12:36 pm Related

City of Chicago sues over painkiller marketing

CHICAGO | The city of Chicago is seeking damages in a lawsuit accusing five drugmakers of deceptively marketing a class of prescription painkiller that can be highly addictive.

June 03, 2014 3:19 pm

'Face of the campaign' mired in health law snags

CHICAGO | Celeste Castillo, a Guatemalan immigrant, was invited to a news conference with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius early last year to help promote enrollment in the country's new health insurance marketplaces.

May 07, 2014 3:25 pm

Illinois medical marijuana: $100 for patient card

CHICAGO | Illinois regulators crafting the first rules for the state's new medical marijuana industry have lowered patient fees and deleted a section that had angered gun owners — changes that are going down well with the law's supporters.

April 19, 2014 12:00 am

Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges

CHICAGO | For the more than 30 states that defaulted to the federal government under President Barack Obama's health care law, time may be running out to decide whether to create their own state-run insurance exchanges.

April 18, 2014 6:00 pm

Illinois medical marijuana rules drop gun language

CHICAGO | Illinois regulators finalizing the state's conditions for medical marijuana have removed a proposed rule that would have barred legal gun owners from becoming cannabis-using patients, a person close to the process told The Associated Press.

April 17, 2014 4:10 pm

Illinois hospitals shift to consumer convenience

CHICAGO | In cities and rural areas throughout Illinois, hospitals are extending services beyond their walls in a twin bid to improve health and capture more business.

March 23, 2014 10:22 pm

Illinois ramps up humor in insurance ad campaign

CHICAGO | Illinois officials hope that using humor can give the state's health insurance enrollment numbers the same kind of bump the federal site saw after President Barack Obama bantered about the law with actor Zach Galifianakis.

March 18, 2014 12:00 am

Tool to compare health plans tested with consumers

CHICAGO | A website that offers Illinois consumers more information about insurance costs could help address widespread confusion about choosing a plan on the government sites that are a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's health care law.

March 07, 2014 12:40 pm

Looking for the uninsured? Just hail a taxi driver

CHICAGO | Like most taxi drivers, Sebti Boukarit doesn't have health insurance. And because he works up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, he hasn't had much time to sign up under the nation's new health care law.

February 23, 2014 12:00 am

Feds: More than 88K pick health plans in Illinois

CHICAGO | More than 88,000 Illinois residents signed up for private health insurance during the first four months of the nation's new insurance marketplace system, a heartening number for state officials because it shows Illinois catching up to targets from President Barack Obama's administration.

February 12, 2014 11:15 pm

Guns, medical marijuana collide in Illinois rules

CHICAGO | Guns and marijuana don't mix, according to federal authorities, even if the gun is a legally held firearm and the drug is recommended by a doctor.

February 05, 2014 8:17 pm

Illinois Medicaid pursues housing as health care

CHICAGO | Broderick Alexander lived on the streets for more than two years in Chicago, but since 2005, he has slept in his own apartment. A case manager visits once a month, helping the 48-year-old set goals as part of a program that links housing to health care.

January 23, 2014 12:00 am

Medical marijuana rules in Illinois unveiled

CHICAGO | To use medical marijuana in Illinois, patients would be fingerprinted, undergo a background check and pay $150 a year to get a special photo ID under proposed regulations unveiled Tuesday.

January 21, 2014 3:24 pm

Feds: More than 7K Illinoisans select health plans

CHICAGO | More than 7,000 Illinois residents signed up for private insurance coverage in the first two months of the troubled website, less than 30 percent of the federal government's projection for the state's enrollment at this point of the rollout.

December 11, 2013 11:15 am

Health care cancellations: 2 intimate views

CHICAGO | For Shonn Hild, a landscaper from Sullivan, Ill., the controversy over Americans losing their health insurance plans, despite a promise by President Barack Obama, is frustrating and personal. For Jon Gabel, a University of Chicago health care researcher, the surprise is not the mas…

November 09, 2013 6:18 pm

Health care law turns to social media in Illinois

CHICAGO | Inside a command center at a Chicago marketing agency, a small team of social media experts hunkers down to monitor online chatter about President Barack Obama's health care law, answer questions on Facebook from discouraged consumers and post information and advice on Twitter.

October 18, 2013 8:15 pm
Analysis: Health insurance prices for 3 Illinois households

Analysis: Health insurance prices for 3 Illinois households

CHICAGO | How much will an Illinois fast-food cook pay for insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law? How about a preschool teacher? Or a freelance writer?

October 09, 2013 8:32 pm

Illinois unveils health marketplace ads

CHICAGO | Illinois officials plan to launch a long-delayed, $33 million advertising campaign to inform residents about a new health insurance marketplace Tuesday, the ads first appearing on the same day the marketplace goes live with details of benefits available under President Barack Obama…

September 30, 2013 7:31 pm

Marketplace to be called 'Get Covered Illinois'

CHICAGO | The brand name of Illinois' new health insurance marketplace does something that other states' names don't. "Get Covered Illinois" tells the 1.8 million uninsured residents what they need to do.

September 25, 2013 2:46 pm
Groups race to hire, train 'Obamacare' guides

Groups race to hire, train 'Obamacare' guides

CHICAGO | With the program known as "Obamacare" only weeks away from its key launch date, hectic preparations are in motion in communities across the country to deal with one of its major practical challenges: hiring and training a small army of instant experts who can explain the intricacie…

September 09, 2013 11:30 pm

Groups race to hire, train 'Obamacare' guides

CHICAGO | With the program known as "Obamacare" only weeks away from its key launch date, hectic preparations are in motion in communities across the country to deal with one of its major practical challenges: hiring and training a small army of instant experts who can explain the intricacie…

September 09, 2013 11:30 am
Ready or not, health law outreach training begins

Ready or not, health law outreach training begins

CHICAGO | It wasn't easy writing the training program for the 800 outreach workers who will help Illinoisans sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama's health law.

August 26, 2013 12:00 am

Faith leaders emerge as key to health law outreach

CHICAGO | Religion and the nation's new health law haven't exactly been viewed as friendly partners in the public eye, with most of the attention focused on religious employers' objections to covering the cost of birth control.

August 09, 2013 11:50 am

Librarians to help with health law signups

CHICAGO | The nation's librarians will be recruited to help people get signed up for insurance under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Up to 17,000 U.S. libraries will be part of the effort to get information and crucial computer time to the millions of uninsured Americans who n…

June 28, 2013 8:15 pm

Newly insured Illinoisans may not find doctors

CHICAGO | As hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans become newly eligible for health insurance next year, their search for adequate medical services will be most difficult in pockets of the state where a shortage of primary care physicians could be made more acute by the federal health overhaul.

June 22, 2013 9:05 pm

Illinois-run insurance marketplace stalls again

CHICAGO | Federal officials could end up overseeing the new Illinois health insurance marketplace for years to come after lawmakers in Springfield balked again at a full embrace of President Barack Obama's health care law.

June 05, 2013 8:01 pm

Illinois extends deadline for health guide grants

CHICAGO | Community groups in Illinois have been given more time to apply for $28 million in grants to help consumers learn how to shop for health insurance that will be available under President Barack Obama's health overhaul law.

May 17, 2013 10:45 pm

Quinn hire to market health overhaul

CHICAGO | Most Illinoisans without health insurance coverage know very little about the federal health care overhaul and how it might help them. It's Brian Gorman's challenge to make sure they learn.

April 12, 2013 9:46 pm

Feds approve Ill. health exchange with conditions

CHICAGO | Illinois has received conditional federal approval for its plan to help run an online marketplace where thousands of state residents will shop for health insurance beginning Oct. 1 — a big step toward carrying out the national health law in the state.

February 13, 2013 7:00 pm

Fast facts on Illinois insurance exchange plans

CHICAGO | Here are some fast facts about how buying health insurance will change in Illinois as President Barack Obama's health overhaul takes effect and the first insurance exchange starts operating later this year:

January 29, 2013 12:00 am
Illinois takes baby steps toward 1st birth center

Illinois takes baby steps toward 1st birth center

CHICAGO | Rocking chairs, birthing tubs and changing tables haven't yet been ordered, but organizers in suburban Chicago are eager to start furnishing their birth center — which may become the first such facility in Illinois.

January 26, 2013 12:00 am
Hospitals expand reach with ERs

Hospitals expand reach with ERs

CHICAGO | One recent evening after office hours, Dr. James Magee got a phone call about a patient, a woman in her 40s. She complained of tingling on one side of her body, in her arm and leg. Could it be a stroke?

January 15, 2013 12:00 am Photos


Illinois flu cases climb; 27 deaths this season

Illinois flu cases climb; 27 deaths this season

CHICAGO | Illinois is among the 24 states across the nation hardest hit by the flu, but vaccine is still available in most locations, health officials said Friday as they urged people to get their shots.

January 11, 2013 4:30 pm

Hospitals, insurers back Ill. Medicaid expansion as some lawmakers object to expanding government programs

CHICAGO | Illinois lawmakers soon will face two critical decisions over how to fully carry out President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

December 27, 2012 12:00 am

Illinois keeps pace on Obama's health law

CHICAGO | Illinois is ahead of some states but behind others on the path toward creating a health insurance exchange, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's health care law.

November 16, 2012 8:25 pm

Illinois hospital tax break costs $10M

CHICAGO | A little-noticed tax break for investor-owned hospitals that was tucked into a deal last spring aimed at saving the Illinois Medicaid program from collapse will cost the cash-strapped state at least $10 million a year in lost revenue, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

November 08, 2012 8:58 pm

Illinois moves ahead on health insurance exchange

CHICAGO | Illinois officials are reviewing five bids to build the state's health insurance exchange — a required component of the federal health care overhaul that Gov. Pat Quinn intends to implement regardless of who wins the presidency on Election Day.

November 06, 2012 12:00 am

Partnerships to help control Ill. Medicaid costs

CHICAGO | A for-profit nursing home company owned by a politically connected Chicago businessman is a partner in a project Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced Tuesday that aims to control health spending for high-cost Medicaid recipients.

October 16, 2012 7:00 pm

Illinois to decide on essential health benefits

Chicago | Gov. Pat Quinn has less than a month to choose which benefits will be required in basic health insurance plans sold to individuals and small businesses in Illinois under the federal health care law, an important decision that will determine the cost of future premiums and how broad…

September 07, 2012 12:00 am
Experimental stroke therapy helps Illinois senator

Experimental stroke therapy helps Illinois senator

CHICAGO | Good luck and experimental therapy may have helped U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk recover more extensively than he would have with standard care after he suffered a stroke in January.

August 10, 2012 1:15 pm

Rep. Mautino: Illinois not ready for 'Obamacare' target date

CHICAGO | An Illinois Democrat who has led work on implementing a key part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul now says the state will need to partner with the federal government for its insurance exchange.

June 26, 2012 11:13 pm
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