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What health reform means for the people of Illinois

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Friday, February 15, 2013

The HHS Secretary Visits Chicago


This week, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Chicago to speak about the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Secretary Sebelius, accompanied by Governor Pat Quinn, announced on Wednesday that the Illinois Blueprint Application for a State-Partnership health exchange had been accepted by the federal government. The exchange will run as a federal-state partnership model until 2015, when the state may take over operations, depending on the State Legislature’s ability to pass a state exchange bill. Enrollment in the partnership exchange/marketplace opens in October, only eight months (229 days!) away.

Secretary Sebelius speaks to a full house at the Chicago Cultural Center

On Thursday, Sec. Sebelius spoke at the Chicago Cultural Center. Preceding her was Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, who presented an overview of the Healthy Chicago program and its impact thus far. Sebelius delivered a call to action to those in attendance, citing the need for affordable, accessible health insurance for all as a crucial step in the national public health strategy. With only eight months before the state health marketplace is open for enrollment, and ten months before it is fully operational, promoting awareness of the health insurance exchange is the focus of HHS. 

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