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 2018-06-20
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

HRC Responds to Trump-Pence Executive Order, House GOP Immigration Bills 2018-06-20 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) responded to Donald Trump's executive order retreating from his cruel and dangerous ...

Gay News

Walgreens, AIDS group offering free testing 2018-06-20 - Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a national public-information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, are working with 220 health departments, AIDS-service organizations and ...

Gay News

Report: Only 559 LGBTQ elected officials in U.S. 2018-06-20 - LGBTQ Victory Institute's 2018 "Out for America" report says that there are 559 known openly LGBTQ elected officials in the United States—and the ...

Gay News

Gay commissioner candidate holds Pride fundraiser 2018-06-20 - Kevin B. Morrison, the gay democratic Cook County Commissioner candidate for the 15th district, held a Pride month fundraiser June 13 at Sidetrack. ...

Gay News

THEATER Disability storytelling aims to focus on intersectionality 2018-06-20 - "I didn't come out as a little person until I was 26." So begins a story written and performed by Tekki Lomnicki, artistic ...

Gay News

WORLD Icelandic Pride, Peter Tatchell, World Cup 2018-06-19 - Seyoisfjorour, a town in Iceland with only 700 residents, has created a rainbow path to show its support for its LGBTQ residents, LGBTQ ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Palm Springs, NYC Pride, Alan Turing 2018-06-19 - The California Legislature LGBTQ Caucus recognized the Palm Springs City Council June 11 in Sacramento for being the nation's first elected all LGBTQ ...

Gay News

Class Action Lawsuit Targets Chicago Police's Gang Database 2018-06-19 - Chicago — The Chicagoans for an End to the Gang Database, a coalition of individuals and community organizations, gathered in City Hall on ...

Gay News

South Bend, Ind., mayor marries 2018-06-18 - After their wedding Saturday, June 16, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg ( left ) and Chasten Glezman took a detour from St. James ...

Gay News

Parkland students launch voter-registration tour from Chicago 2018-06-18 - The Annual End of School Rally and Peace March presented by Saint Sabina Church June 15 got a lift this year with the ...


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.