Quinn and Preckwinkle kick-off open enrollment at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center

Date: 
11/16/2014
PressConf

Martin Judd welcomes Toni Preckwinkle (l) and Pat Quinn (r)

Governor Pat Quinn and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle kicked off the second year of the Get Covered Illinois' (GCI) initiative.  It is a 92-day window from Nov. 15 thru Dec. 15 during which people can enroll or  ,  in the Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (PSMEMC), 2233 W. Division St., on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 13. 

Martin Judd, Regional President and CEO, PSMEMC, led off the proceeding recognizing Quinn and Preckwinkle as strong advocates of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). "It has helped thousands of our uninsured citizens to gain access to affordable health insurance coverage through the Market Place and the Medicaid expansion programs. 

"Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical is representative of the safety net hospitals which make up the backbone of hospitals that provide care to the State's most vulnerable population that are not insured or under-insured. Presence Health is the State's largest Catholic health care systems with 12 hospitals, 29 long term facilities and 150 primary and special care centers," said Judd. Serving those facilities are 20,000 health care workers and 4,000 physicians in Illinois. 

In Illinois last year 217,000 enrolled in private health plans through the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace while approximately 500,000 enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program from around the state. The state’s Marketplace enrollment during the initial six-month enrollment period exceeded the federally-established goal of 143,000. 

PreckwinkleQuinn

Quinn said that he began a journey to get affordable health care in 2001 when he and his doctor, Quinten Young, started a walk on a bridge in Rock Island and ended it in Chicago's Lake Michigan shore on behave of decent health care for everyone. He is happy that enrollment has gone so well in Illinois. 

"The Affordable Care Act is the most transformative piece of legislation in this country in decades," said Preckwinkle. "Here in Cook County, we are responsible for the third largest public health system in the nation. Before the ACA, our health care system was a safety net for the uninsured and under-insured. Now for the first time in the history of our health care system, we have more insured patients than uninsured." 

Uninsured residents must enroll in a plan by Dec. 15 to gain coverage starting Jan. 1, 2015. Those who selected a plan in Year One through the Marketplace must choose a plan by Dec. 15 to avoid being automatically re-enrolled in their 2014 plan and to ensure they have coverage starting Jan. 1, 2015. All 2014 Marketplace coverage will end Dec. 31, 2014, regardless of when coverage started. 

Navagators

Navigators

To assist residents looking to enroll or re-enroll in health coverage, GCI has established a network of hundreds of bilingual Navigators at more than 250 sites around the state to provide free assistance in-person and by phone. Navigators are trained to help residents understand and review their healthcare options, determine if they qualify for financial assistance based on their income, and walk them through the enrollment process step-by-step. 

PSMEMC will have staff to handle enrollment four days a week. Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. they will partner with the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. On Tuesday and Thursday they will partner with PrimeCare between 1 and 5 p.m. They will be located on the first floor lobby outside the emergency room, 2233 W. Division St. 

The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) recently announced the number of Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) offered under the ACA has more than doubled from 165 plans offered in 2014 to more than 400 plans being offered in 2015. 

“In Year One, we learned that many people waited until the final days to enroll in coverage. We want to ensure people are able to sign up early and get the insurance they need instead of waiting until the last minute,” GCI Executive Director Jennifer Koehler said. “Residents can call (866) 311.1119 to schedule a free, in-person meeting at convenient time and nearby location to help ensure they get a plan that best meets their needs and budget.” 

More information about open enrollment events around the state can be found by visiting the website. For additional information on healthcare options, call 866.311.1119 or visit here.

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