October 1, 2013 marked the beginning of a new era of health insurance in America. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Federal Online Marketplace opened for business. United Way of Metropolitan Chicago has taken a leading role in educating and helping folks enroll in coverage for which they are eligible by facilitating In-Person Counselors (IPCs) at 19 community-based organizations throughout the City of Chicago. There has been a great amount of criticism of the federal Healthcare.gov website due to its glitches, but I’m proud to announce that UWMC’s partnering IPCs have been doing incredible work in spreading the message that under ACA, Chicagoans have a new array of options to get coverage for themselves and their families.
In the first 3 weeks of our campaign to educate Chicago, UWMC IPCs had already connected with 7,003 people at a variety of events. Our IPCs have attended large-scale events like the BeCovered Illinois Health Fair, held in-house meetings at their various facilities, and hosted town halls to help spread the word and provide an open forum where members of the community can get their questions answered. The story in the first month of the Health Care roll-out has been mostly centered on the maligned website, but it’s important to note the success we are seeing on the ground in getting people the information they need to make a very important decision regarding their health coverage. United Way funded organizations are bringing the message to their communities, and I look forward to what is to come following this solid start!
Post submitted on behalf of Bill Green, Grant Manager – In Person Counselor for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.