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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Get Covered Illinois works on ACA health care signups
From press releases
2014-02-22

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GetCoveredIllinois.gov, the official online marketplace where Illinois residents, families and small business owners can get connected to health coverage options, reached one million unique visitors by mid-February.

"The steadily building traffic we are seeing on GetCoveredIllinois.gov shows that people in Illinois are taking action to get covered, and we are building momentum into the homestretch," Jennifer Koehler, executive director for Get Covered Illinois said in a press release. "One million people have visited the site to get information about the affordable health coverage options that are available to people across Illinois."

Since the website launched on Oct. 1, 2013, more than 439,000 visitors have used the screening tool on the site that directs visitors to either Healthcare.gov or ABE ( Abe.Illinois.gov )—the State of Illinois' online application system where consumers can apply directly for Medicaid, nutrition and income assistance.

The Spanish-language version of the site, which launched on Oct. 22, 2013, has received more than 19,000 visits and has had nearly 5,000 visitors participate in the screening tool.

As of Jan. 31, 88,602 Illinois residents have selected a private health insurance plan through the federal website. In addition, more than 168,000 Illinois residents have enrolled in Medicaid under the ACA, bringing the total that have gained access to health coverage in the state to more than 256,000.

Digital promotions, including search advertising and social media, are a key component of Get Covered Illinois' marketing campaign. Since December, Get Covered Illinois' Facebook followers have tripled to more than 5,000. Recently, Get Covered Illinois announced a partnership with Onion Labs, the creative services division of The Onion. The partnership calls for The Onion to run ads on its website targeted to young adults between the ages of 21 and 34.

As the March 31 enrollment deadline approaches, Get Covered Illinois is ramping up enrollment efforts to engage the uninsured across the state through a mix of traditional and non-traditional sources. Over the next six weeks, Get Covered Illinois will be reaching out to residents of all ages across the state through digital, radio and TV advertisements, and promotions both online and at in-person events. Uninsured residents must enroll in a health insurance policy by March 15 to be covered on April 1.

Get Covered Illinois is urging health care consumers to take advantage of the assistance that is being offered via the web, over the phone and in person through hundreds of community partners across the state:

— Visit their website at GetCoveredIllinois.gov ( which includes a Spanish-language version ).

— Call the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk at 866-311-1119. Operators are available each day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

— Meet in person with a specially trained "Navigator" who can help you understand your options and help you even enroll at one of the hundreds of partner sites across the state. There are more than 1,500 Navigators throughout the state that can be located by visiting the website and entering your zip code or through the Help Desk.

Get Covered Illinois also launched #GCISuccess, a series of testimonial videos designed to make "health coverage personal." The video series features the stories of real Illinois residents who have enrolled for health coverage with the help of Get Covered Illinois, and the stories of certified navigators across Illinois. Featured in the #GCISuccess series is the enrollment story of Carlos Gaytan, chef and owner of the Michelin star-rated Chicago restaurant, Mexique, and fourth runner up in the latest season of 'Top Chef,' Bravo's Emmy award-winning reality cooking competition show.

Get Covered Illinois has also partnered with CVS/pharmacy's Project Health program to provide education and enrollment information about health coverage.

Follow Get Covered Illinois on:

Facebook: facebook.com/coveredillinois .

Twitter: @CoveredIllinois

Hashtag: #GetCoveredIllinois


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