State Rep. Chuck Jefferson, D-Rockford, is hosting a public information session about the Affordable Care Act at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, at Rockford Public Library, 215 N. Wyman St., to give local residents a chance to learn how the new law may help them.
“Those without medical insurance cannot afford the high costs of seeing a doctor and paying for needed medication,” Jefferson said. “The Affordable Care Act aims to make it easier for residents to access affordable health care.”
Jefferson’s event is open to anyone with questions about how the new law will impact them and their families, what options they may qualify for, and how to sign up for a plan that is right for them.
Last spring, Jefferson supported a new state law bringing Illinois into compliance with the Affordable Care Act, increasing health care access to more than 340,000 low-income Illinois residents and childless adults living in poverty. The new law is expected to generate at least $45 million in federal funding in the Rockford region, according to the Illinois Hospital Association. Five area hospitals stand to benefit from the law because it will reimburse them for costs they are already delivering to patients.
Jefferson warns of potential scams and urges local residents to use caution when signing up for the new health insurance program. To help prevent fraud, the Illinois Department of Insurance is certifying individuals trained to help others apply. Consumers will be able to check credentials by asking to see their certificate or checking the department’s website.
“Be on the lookout for any fraudulent behavior associated with this new health care program,” Jefferson said. “Do not give out any personal information unless you are certain you’re working with someone who has been properly trained, and do not respond to unsolicited phone calls asking for your financial information or personal account data, or demanding that you pay fees to enroll. Seniors and persons with disabilities should not give out any information regarding their Medicare card, as the Affordable Care Act will not replace their Medicare coverage.”
Jefferson’s event is in partnership with the Rockford Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and the Illinois Marketplace Exchange. For more information or to RSVP, contact Jefferson’s full-time constituent service office at (815) 987-7433.
From the Oct. 16-22, 2013, issue