An option for Illinois residents without health insurance

Get Covered Illinois is a new website, launched Oct. 1, that allows people to find the right health coverage.

“For the first time in U.S. history, quality health coverage is available to you regardless of your current health, income level or employment,” according to the website.

The website, set up by Gov. Pat Quinn, allows Illinois residents to review their health care and insurance options under the new Affordable Health Care Act as proposed by President Barack Obama, according to State Representative Lisa Hernandez.

Jose Espinoza is a state-certified Navigator for Get Covered Illinois who facilitates enrollments and assists those interested in coverage. He said Get Covered Illinois received money from a grant to serve cities out of Chicagoland suburbs. This enables Navigators like Espinoza to provide free assistance. 

“Community outreach and education is essential so our citizens know how this law works and what they need to do to get enrolled in they don’t have coverage,” said Espinoza. “Our goal is to reach as many people as possible and enroll those interested in doing so.”

Why is this so important now? People can only get coverage during special enrollment periods, according to Espinoza. Those who want coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014 need to enroll by Dec. 23, 2013. The final deadline for enrollment is March 31, 2014. Anyone who seeks coverage after this deadline must pay a $90 penalty. 

The first step in using this website is to go to getcoveredillinois.gov. The second step is to click “See your options.” This provide questions a user needs to answer that will decide if the user is qualified for Medicaid or for marketplace insurance.

For more information on how to get covered, visit Get Covered Illinois or contact Navigator Jose Espinoza at jespinoza@cbhonline.org or (312) 913-9449.

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