Health Department offers ACA info session Dec. 7 at East Branch library

Online Staff Report

Saturday, Dec. 7, the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) will participate in an effort to educate Illinois residents about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Get Covered Illinois by hosting an informational and outreach session as part of the statewide “Enroll Your Community” action week.

The event will run 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at the Rockford Public Library’s East Branch, 6685 E. State St., Rockford.

Specially trained navigators from the City of Rockford-Human Services, La Voz Latina, OSF, UIC School of Medicine, WCHD, and the YWCA of Rockford will be on hand at the library to assist individuals with information about Get Covered Illinois and the range of health insurance options and community resources that are available to residents in Winnebago County.

Juliana Barker, Winnebago County in-person grant counselor, said: “Any Illinois resident who does not currently have health insurance should visit to enroll online or call 866-311-1119 to enroll over the phone or to ask questions about their coverage options. Residents have until the Dec. 23 deadline (moved back from Dec. 15) to complete the application and enrollment process for coverage to start on Jan. 1, 2014. Residents can additionally visit official partner organizations in their community to get help at no cost from trained specialists, in-person counselors called Navigators. Our trained counselors will help residents navigate the enrollment process and answer any questions about health coverage options. We’re here to make sure community members know about the affordable health insurance options that are available to them, and to let them know that we’re here to help them get the information and assistance they need to sign up for the plan that is best for them.”

Under the ACA, thousands of Illinoisans who were previously unable to get insurance can now get covered. All plans in the Marketplace include the following:

Cover recommended preventive services, free of charge;

Include a cap on out-of-pocket costs;

Have no lifetime or yearly dollar limit on coverage; and

Will not reject anyone on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

Illinois residents will pay less than residents in many other states under the Illinois Marketplace, and health benefits will be even more affordable through subsidies offered by the federal government based on income.

Individuals, families and small business owners have until March 31, 2014, to enroll in a health plan. To get coverage beginning in January, enrollment must be completed by Dec. 23.

For more about future community events, visit Residents can also visit the WCHD website at, or call (815) 720-4247 to set up an appointment with a Navigator for assistance with the enrollment process.

WCHD Get Covered Illinois in-person counselor grant partners

All of the following partner agencies have federally trained and certified in-person counselors available to assist with any questions during the enrollment process:

City of Rockford — Human Services Division, (815) 987-5711

La Voz Latina, (815) 965-5784

Lifescape Community Services, (815) 963-1609

OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, (815) 395-5349 or (815) 227-2620

Rockford Health System, (815) 971-7070

Swedish American Health System, (815) 968-4400

TASC, (815) 965-1106

UIC-Rockford School of Medicine, (815) 395-0600

Winnebago County Health Department, (815) 720-4247

YWCA of Rockford, (815) 316-6127

Posted Dec. 5, 2013

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