Ramping up efforts to educate the public about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the state is accepting applications from community-based organizations to assist with outreach and consumer education efforts that are now underway. The announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to ensure all people have access to quality healthcare and improve the health and well-being of the people of Illinois.
"We've got a big job to do making sure that people across Illinois are aware of the affordable and high-quality health care coverage options that will soon be available through the Affordable Care Act," Governor Quinn said. "That's why we are partnering with trusted organizations that have proven records of success and roots in communities across Illinois to ensure that no one is left out."
The Illinois Department of Public Health, in coordination with the Health Insurance Marketplace will be accepting applications until May 30th, from community groups and other qualified organizations who want to participate in the In-Person Counselor (IPC) Program. The state has received approximately $28 million in federal funds for grants to participating groups.
Submissions will be competitively scored based upon quality of application, organizational capacity, and proposed scope of work. Special consideration will be given to ensure proper statewide distribution of funding based on population, regional and cultural needs. Organizations that are selected through the online application process will participate in outreach training this summer.
"We know that far too many people, especially those who lack health care coverage, are simply not aware of the coming opportunity to acquire coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act," Marketplace Director Jennifer Koehler said. "We estimate that more than half of the Marketplace's customers will require help sifting through the options and enrolling in a health plan that meets their needs. We're looking for partners who are trusted in their communities to help us carry out our goal of creating a "culture of coverage' in every corner of the state."
Enrollment in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace will begin on Oct. 1, with coverage to start Jan. 1, 2014. The Marketplace will be accessed through a robust, user-friendly website where individuals, families and small businesses will be able to compare health care policies and premiums and purchase comprehensive health coverage.
For more information about the state's implementation of the ACA, go to: HealthCareReform.illinois.gov. For more information about the application process for the Illinois In-Person Counselor (IPC) Grant Program, go to: http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/healthcarereform/Pages/IPC.aspx.