Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-09-12
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Open enrollment for ACA insurance has begun
by Matt Simonette

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Despite logistical stumbling-blocks introduced by the Trump administration this year, including an especially abbreviated enrollment period, Chicagoans seeking insurance coverage through Affordable Care Act ( ACA ) plans can still obtain assistance in the signup process for 2018 coverage.

Howard Brown Health is among the organizations offering such help. ACA enrollment began Nov. 1 and continues through Dec. 15.

"Because the enrollment period is so short this year, we're definitely putting a lot of effort into streamlining our process," said Rachel Maher, Howard Brown Health's outreach and enrollment coordinator. "We're making our enrollment appointments a little shorter, and trying to encourage consumers to bring in documents and know their usernames and passwords, to make sure that they are prepared when they get there."

Howard Brown Health officials are trying "to enroll about 75 percent of people as we did last year in half the time," Mahar added. She noted that about 400 persons signed up for ACA plans through the organization for 2017 coverage.

An important part of the organization's work this year is dispelling myths that the ACA is gone and that consumers have been left with no options. Though costs and benefits have changed, there is little chance that any legislation passed this year will immediately affect tenets of the ACA, so this year's benefits are likely not in danger from governmental intervention, Mahar said.

"We have to put a lot more effort into communicating with the public," she added. "It's important to get the message out there that help is available."

Enrollment sessions with Howard Brown Health insurance navigators last about 45 minutes to an hour, and if all goes well, applicants can expect to be enrolled by the end of the session. Mahar emphasized the need, however, to at least try to compile any available paperwork, including even rudimentary documents that help estimate income, such as pay-stubs; immigration or citizenship documents if an applicant was not born in the U.S.; names and dosages of medications, as well as names of physicians, to ensure adequate plan coverage; and usernames and passwords if the patient already has a account.

"Even if they don't think they know [username and passwords], they should try and log in ahead of time—you only have one time to reset that," Mahar said.

Howard Brown Health navigators will also help persons with HIV link to state assistance programs and obtain coverage there if available. Mahar further noted that uninsured transgender persons should be able to find coverage under ACA plans as well.

"The ACA has nondiscrimination policies written into it, so the marketplace aims to cover gender-affirming care, including gender-confirmation surgery and hormone therapy, so we can talk to people about getting coverage for their specific needs," she said.

For more information, visit or phone 773-388-8683 .

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Women's March Chicago announces event expansion 2018-09-17 - On Sept. 12, at the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Columbus Drive in Grant Park, board members from Women's March Chicago ( WMC ...

Gay News

HRC calls for halt to Supreme Court confirmation process 2018-09-16 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to halt the Supreme Court confirmation process ...

Gay News

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey at LPAC event 2018-09-16 - Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey attended a small gathering for the national LGBTQ political action committee LPAC Sept. 12 at an event hosted ...

Gay News

EI PAC calls on Gov. Rauner to stop contributing to anti-gay candidate 2018-09-14 - Statement from John Litchfield, Chair of the Equality Illinois PAC, which is dedicated to securing and defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, ...

Gay News

Court Rules Case Challenging Defense Dept. HIV Discrimination Can Proceed 2018-09-14 - ( Alexandria, VA September 14, 2018 ) — Today, a Virginia federal court ruled a case filed by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, along ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ family group Fortunate Families responds to Cathlolic clerical abuse 2018-09-14 - Fortunate Families, Inc., Catholic Family, Friends & Allies Ministry Supporting LGBTQ+ Sisters and Brothers, today sent a letter to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President ...

Gay News

Intersex-Affirming Hospital Policy Guide Published 2018-09-14 - ( New York, NY ) — interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, Lambda Legal, and Proskauer Rose LLP have released the nation's first intersex-affirming ...

Gay News

Lambda, 18 LGBT groups urge Senate to reject Trump nominee Stephen Clark 2018-09-12 - ( Washington, DC — Sept. 12, 2018 ) Today, Lambda Legal joined with 18 national, state and local LGBT civil rights organizations to ...

Gay News

Study Reveals Which Transgender Teens Have Highest Suicide Risk 2018-09-12 - TUCSON, Ariz. — Research has shown that transgender adolescents are at greater risk for attempting suicide than cisgender teens, who identify with the ...

Gay News

Smart911 program debuts in Chicago 2018-09-12 - State Rep. Greg Harris ( D-Chicago ) has alerted locals to Smart911, a free online platform in Chicago. It allows residents to enter ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.