CHICAGO • Most of the same Illinois organizations that helped consumers sign up for insurance in the first year of President Barack Obama's expanded health coverage will receive additional funding for a second year, state officials announced Friday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health released a list of 37 community groups that will share a total of $25.8 million in federal funding to be used to employ outreach counselors, sometimes called navigators.
"This is a strong team of organizations that will be aggressively reaching out to the uninsured in every corner of the state and making sure they know what they need to do to get covered," Department of Public Health Director LaMar Hasbrouck said in a statement.
The groups on the list include the Illinois Migrant Council, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Springfield Urban League, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and the Erie Family Health Center in Chicago.
The Illinois Public Health Association will get the largest single grant — $2.4 million — for work in western, central and southern parts of the state. United Way of Metropolitan Chicago will get $1.8 million. County health departments in DuPage, McHenry, Will and Winnebago will receive funding.
For consumers, Nov. 15 is the date to remember: opening day for enrollment in health plans sold on the marketplace for coverage in 2015. Consumers buying marketplace plans can qualify for tax credits to help with the cost.
Illinois has enrolled approximately 670,000 residents in private health plans and Medicaid since the Get Covered Illinois campaign launched in October last year. The community groups' face-to-face contact with uninsured residents was essential to that effort, said Get Covered Illinois Executive Director Jennifer Koehler.
"For year two, we are encouraging them to be out and about in their communities and to take a very aggressive approach in their outreach activities," Koehler said.
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