Welcome to the Illinois Health Matters Blog

What health reform means for the people of Illinois

A blog by IllinoisHealthMatters.org

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Great News for the People of Illinois...Now What?

Yesterday, Governor Quinn announced that Illinois was awarded a $115 Million grant for its Health Insurance Marketplace (the online portal to enroll over a million adults and children into quality health plans). A large portion of this federal funding will pay for outreach activities and consumer assistance during the push to enroll the uninsured beginning on October 1 of this year.

This is great news for the people of Illinois.

With October 1 less than six months away, we need these federal funds to help get the word out about the availability of new insurance coverage options. According to Enroll America's research findings, the  majority  of  uninsured Americans  don’t  know the  health  reform  law  will  help  them:
  • 78% of  the  uninsured  don’t  know  about  the new  health  insurance  exchanges  
  • 83% of  people  who  could  be  eligible  for  the new  Medicaid  expansion  don’t  know about  it.  
Tremendous amount of work needs to get done to tell people about the new options and enroll them into a plan. 

Here's a timeline of what needs to happen to be ready by October 1, 2013. Since Illinois is running its exchange/marketplace in partnership with the federal government, we need to be mindful of activities by both the feds and the state:

Already Happened:

  • Illinois Marketplace Team Selects Training Vendor (UIC/Public Health)
  • Marketplace Team Releases Outreach & Education Plan & Conducts Outreach to Encourage Navigator & In Person Assister (IPA) Applications. (Read this fact sheet to learn about the different Consumer Assistance Entities needed).
  • Marketplace Team Receives Establishment Grant Funding
  • Illinois Marketplace Team Releases RFP for Media and Marketing Outreach Strategy.
  • CMS Releases Proposed Standards for Navigators and In Person Assisters (see here for a good summary)
  • Federal Government Releases Navigator RFP (Just released today, April 9, 2013; due June 7,
    2013; Expected Award Date - August 15, 2013). 
  • Advocates create the Illinois Consumer Assistance Matchmaking Spreadsheet to find partners in either the federal Navigator grant or the (yet to be released) Illinois Assister RFP.
Spring 2013:
  • Marketplace Team Issues RFP/Grant Application for IPA entities
  • Marketplace Team Approves IPA Training Materials
  • Marketplace Team selects firm for Media and Marketing Outreach Strategy (UPDATE: On 7/12/13 Fleishman Hillard is selected)
Summer 2013:
  • Federal Government Selects Navigator Entities (Due date for application: June 7, 2013)
  • Marketplace Team Selects IPA entities (see list here
  • Federal Government Takes Applications for Certified Application Counselors (sign up here)
  • Navigators, IPAs, Certified Application Counselors (CACs) Receive Training and Certification.
  • Media placement begins
October 2013 and beyond:
  • Navigators, IPAs & CACs Assist Consumers during Open Enrollment
  • Navigators, IPAs & CACs Provide Post-Enrollment Assistance & Assistance during Special Enrollment Periods
  • Program Oversight Conducted By Marketplace Team and Federal Gov’t.
The timeline is tight and we need all types of entities (community based organizations, hospitals, health departments etc.) to help with enrollment.

If you have any questions about  what this means for you or your organization, please don't hesitate to contact us at info@illinoishealthmatters.org.

Stephani Becker
IHM Project Director


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