There’s only one official place for Illinois residents to compare all health plans side-by-side,
get help from specialists and apply for financial support. Visit: http://getcoveredillinois.gov/ 

The Arc is hosting a special seminar: “Update on Health Care Reform for Children and Adults
with Special Needs
,” October 10th, at the Double tree Hotel in Alsip, IL.

The rollout of the Affordable Care Act comments from David Bingaman, Deputy
Regional Administrator, Health Resources & Services Administration, Region V –

·        Today begins a new day in health care, when we launch the first ever open enrollment
period for the Health Insurance Marketplace – giving consumers and small businesses in all
50 states a new way to shop for affordable, high quality health coverage that fits their
needs and budget.

·        For years, millions of Americans have been denied the security and peace of mind
of having health insurance.  Too many people were denied coverage or priced out; they
had limited choices; or they just couldn’t afford it.  And the process of finding health
insurance options, selecting a plan, and enrolling for coverage has been a complicated
and time-consuming task, with no guarantee that your health insurance would be there
for you when you needed it most.  That changes tomorrow.

·        The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new, simpler way to purchase health
insurance— all in one place.  You can go online to find and compare options, see if you
qualify for lower costs, and select coverage that best meets your needs and budget.  You’ll
also be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons of plans before you buy.  One application,
one time, and you can’t be denied coverage or charged more because of a pre-existing

·        Today begins the six-month long Marketplace open enrollment and public education
campaign. Consumers can apply and choose a plan from now until the end of March,
with coverage beginning as early as January 1, 2014.

·        Consumers can go to HealthCare.gov  to find the state marketplace to serve them –
and they can choose to get information and apply online, in person, or over the phone.
We designed HealthCare.gov to be more user-friendly than your typical government website.
There is even a live web-chat feature just like if you’re shopping for a plane ticket online.
Since the re-launch of the website, we’ve conducted more than 60,000 live web chats.

·        Over 900 organizations and businesses nationwide have volunteered to become
Champions for Coverage and help uninsured Americans learn more and get coverage
through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

·        In all states, there will be people trained and certified to help consumers understand
health coverage options and enroll in a plan.  They will be known by different names,
depending on who provides the service and where they are located.  All certified assistors
will provide similar kinds of help.  We’ve trained more than 51,000 individuals to enroll
people and another 33,000 have taken “Healthcare 101” education sessions.

·        Consumers can also get help using the “Find Local Help” button on HealthCare.gov.
It will provide information on local assistors—like Navigators, application assisters,
certified application counselors, and government agencies.

·        In addition, consumer can call the 24/7 call center at 1-800-318-2596
(TTY 1-855-889-4325) where help will be available in 150 languages.  Since June,
we’ve handled more than 150,000 calls.

·        As with any project of this size, there will be bumps in the road.  We’ve built a
dynamic system and are prepared to make adjustments and improvements.  But what’s
important to remember is that at the end of the day—starting tomorrow—millions more
Americans are going to have access to quality, affordable health care coverage.


Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)