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Thu January 24, 2013

DUPAGE COUNTY-The far-reaching impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on DuPage County residents was explained to 70 representatives of non-profit agencies during a half-day workshop at the DuPage County Health Department on Wednesday, January 23.
"Thank you to the Health Department for organizing this workshop and rolling out critical information to DuPage County non-profit organizations. This was an important conversation to help people learn about the impact of the ACA," said John Bouman, one of the speakers at the workshop and President of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.
This complex new law will be fully implemented in January, 2014, and it will affect patient health benefits, as well as eligibility for both public and private insurance plans. New consumer protections and responsibilities are being put in place by the ACA so health care reform will be felt by every DuPage County resident.
"We are pleased that so many agencies participated and took an interest in learning how the ACA will affect DuPage County residents. The workshop speakers were experts from national and state organizations. They answered questions that will help everyone get better prepared for the far-reaching changes that are coming in 2014," said Maureen McHugh, Executive Director of the Health Department.
The new law will keep in place today's job-based private insurance system, as well as Medicare for those over 65. The ACA provides new ways to obtain insurance for people who today are locked out of the market because of pre-existing conditions or inability to afford insurance.

In addition to Bouman from the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, speakers at the workshop included Stephanie Altman and Stephani Becker from Health and Disability Advocates and Kathy Chan from the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition.
Sponsors for this event included the Health Department, the Community Memorial Foundation, DuPage Community Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform. 
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