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December 2015

#GetCovered TODAY

It's that time of year again and I'm not talking hot cocoa, mistletoe and caroling. 'Tis the season of Open Enrollment!

Today, December 15th is a major deadline. It's the last day people can sign up for a Marketplace plan and stay covered when they ring in the New Year. The outreach and enrollment community has been frantically preparing: making data lists (and checking them twice!) and spreading the #GetCovered word through social media.

Get in the enrollment spirit! Tell your friends, tweet your followers and shout it from rooftops: Today is the last day to stay covered through 2016.

After today, there's still time to show your spirit, because Open Enrollment continues until January 31st (but people may receive the unpleasant gift of a gap in health coverage). So keep on spreading the word and feel free to use IHM's social media ready outreach materials, like the graphic pictured above.

From our blog

Connecting Navigators to Jobs So They Can Continue Connecting Consumers to Coverage Navigators are key to health care outreach and enrollment across the country, but in Cook County the number of working Navigators is on the decline as grant funding slows.

This is not only bad for individual Navigators unable to find work, but compromises the success of future enrollment cycles. In-person assisters of all stripes – including Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, agents, and brokers – play a crucial role in helping people apply for coverage. An Enroll America study found that people who got in-person help were nearly 60% likelier to enroll. To help keep assisters in the community, through the Health Insurance Workforce Pipeline Initiative, Health & Disability Advocates and the Chicago Cook County Workforce Partnership are connecting unemployed Navigators with jobs in the health insurance field – specifically as brokers. Read more...

On our site

Open enrollment is in full swing, and IHM has created two new topic tags on issues especially important for consumers shopping for health care: out-of-pocket costs and network adequacy. These fact sheets, blog posts and explainers can guide conversations with marketplace shoppers about important things they need to know when picking a plan this time around.As always, drop us a line at with your thoughts and suggestions.

In case you missed it

The health system in Illinois ranks middle of the road – at 26 – in the Commonwealth Fund Scorecard of the states. The State scored especially low marks for avoidable hospital use. If the State rose to top spot for this category, 77,844 fewer emergency department visits would occur for people with Medicare.

State funding for mental health is down across the board, according to a new report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Illinois was noted as a State that hadn't agreed to a set level of funding because of the budget deadlock.

Recent resources

This toolkit from Enroll America offers strategies for health care outreach and enrollment with Muslims.
Targeting the Fastest Growing Religious Group

This blog post from the Center on Health Insurance Reforms explains the importance of exploring health insurance options when keeping coverage during the general enrollment period.
Shop to Renew During Open Enrollment

This comparison worksheet from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is for enrollment assisters working with consumers selecting Marketplace plans.
Savvy Health Insurance Shopping

This guide from the National Health Law Program explains the new income counting and household composition rules used when applying for health insurance.
Every Little Thing You Do Is MAGI


Find enrollment events in your area at the Get Covered Illinois Events page.

Find volunteer and community engagement opportunities at Get Covered America Events page.

Download a presentation and/or watch a recording from the EverThrive Illinois Webinar series.

Learn what the ACA means for a small business owner from the Small Business Majority's Thursday talks.

From our social media

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: Talking points on how health insurance is a good thing #ACAHereToStay

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: Navigators & assisters help consumers understand & apply for health insurance #GetCovered #StayCovered

On Facebook
Expanded Medicaid Coverage Means More Women Get Mammograms

For the latest on how the new health care law is impacting Illinois, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. You can also email us at or send us your question here. If you have friends or colleagues interested in these issues, please feel free to forward the newsletter to them.

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