Governor Pat Quinn today launched Get Covered Illinois, the state's comprehensive education and enrollment online platform for uninsured residents to sign up for health coverage under the Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today's announcement is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Illinois.
"Today we are launching a new state of health care for more than one million of our uninsured relatives, loved ones, friends and neighbors," Governor Quinn said. "Get Covered Illinois -- the state's new health insurance marketplace -- will make health care more affordable than ever for those who need it. While there may be bumps along the way, this is a turning point in our nation and the state as we strive to provide decent health care to all."
GetCoveredIllinois.gov is the official website marketplace where individuals, families and small business owners can get connected to their new health insurance options with coverage starting Jan. 1. The state is working with community groups in every corner of the state to provide direct enrollment assistance. Get Covered Illinois will be robust with eight major companies that are participating:
Aetna Life Insurance Company
Coventry Health and Life Insurance Company
Coventry Health Care of Illinois, Inc.
Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc.
Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company (Blue Cross)
Humana Health Plan, Inc.
Humana Insurance Company
Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Company
"Illinois is excited and proud to be launching the most ambitious wellness initiative in our state's history," Deputy Governor Cristal Thomas said. "This will require a massive education and sign-up effort, and we are committed to working with our partners across the state to ensure that all of those who are eligible know about their options and are able to select a health plan that meets their needs."
All Marketplace plans cover important health benefits, including doctor visits, hospital stays, maternity care, emergency room visits, mental health services, chronic disease management, prescriptions and more. No one will be denied coverage because they are sick or have a pre-existing condition like asthma, diabetes or cancer. Preventive care will be covered at no cost to the patient. Individuals and families with income of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level -- $45,000 for individuals and $95,000 for a family of four -- will receive subsidies on a sliding scale if they obtain coverage through the marketplace.
"Illinois' health insurance plan rates are lower than many other states and 25 percent lower than earlier predictions," Illinois Department of Insurance Director Andrew Boron said. "Most people will also get help paying for their plan and many will be eligible for low-cost or free health coverage."
"This is an exciting day for the people of Illinois," Get Covered Illinois Director Jennifer Koehler said. "We are now on the cusp of achieving an historic advance in the health and well-being of our state."
Get Covered Illinois is for any Illinois resident who had insurance, lost it and wants it again; residents who could never afford or obtain insurance before; or for those who have never attempted to get insurance but now must comply with the law.
From October 1 to March 31, officials hope to enroll at least 300,000 in the Marketplace. Enrollment can take place online; with the help of a trained specialist over the phone by calling the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk at 866-311-1119; or in person at a state community partner with trained navigators to assist. The website will feature community partner locations by zip code.
GetCoveredIllinois.gov includes a screening tool that asks users several simple questions about their income and family size and then directs them either to the Marketplace or to ABE (ABE.Illinois.gov) -- the state's new smart online application system where consumers can apply directly for Medicaid, nutrition and income assistance.
The Get Covered Illinois Help Desk will provide support to Illinois consumers by answering basic questions about the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace, including questions about general eligibility for Marketplace plans and exemptions from the individual responsibility provision, how tax credits and cost-sharing reductions work and how to find someone who can provide personal assistance.