Rep. Evans along with other Local, State, and Federal Officials Announce Ways to Get Covered


December 11, 2015
Lauren Eiten, USDHHS Region 5
(312) 886-1631

Local, State, and Federal Officials Announce Ways to Get Covered in Southland

SOUTH HOLLAND, Chicago— December 11, 2015— Great news for Illinois consumers in 2016: affordable rates, more issuer choices, and improvements to the website! The first important deadline for the Health Insurance Marketplace is only a few days away. Open enrollment for 2016 coverage runs from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016, but for coverage to start January 1, residents must sign up by December 15th. Residents can enroll at or at upcoming local events where trained professionals will be offering free and confidential assistance.

During a press conference today at South Suburban Community College, local, state, and federal officials announced new rates for 2016, new improvements to the website, new demographic information for the remaining uninsured, and new upcoming enrollment assistance events. In addition, the officials worked with local community leaders to take action to engage the remaining uninsured, particularly young men.

Illinoisans have affordable options available to them. On average, rates in Cook County decreased by 10% for plans in 2016. For 2016, Illinois consumers can choose from an average of 10 issuers, up from 9, and an average of 55 plans.
Both new and returning consumers will find a smoother and quicker enrollment process. Several new features have been added to to help consumers easily shop for quality, affordable health care.
These features include the Out of Pocket Cost tool which helps consumers estimate the true cost of their health insurance based on premiums, deductibles, and anticipated health care service utilization. Other features include an online scheduling tool as well as the new Doctor Lookup feature. This feature provides consumers with easily searchable information about which doctors plans may cover.
“Now is the time to shop!,” said US Dept. of Health and Human Services Region 5 Director Kathleen Falk. “More than half of Illinoisans will be able to buy a plan for $75 or less a month in premiums after tax credits, and over 9 out of 10 returning Illinoisans could save an average of $1,030 annually in premiums (before tax credits) for a plan in the same level of coverage by returning to shop.”
Falk was joined by State Representative Marcus C. Evans Jr., State Senator Napoleon B. Harris, III, and Brian Gorman, Director of Public Education and Consumer Assistance for Get Covered Illinois.

Also, present were Alderman Lamont Brown and representatives from State Representatives Will Davis and Thaddeus Jones’ offices, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago-South Suburban, Southland Health Care Forum, Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc., Iota Phi Theta, Inc., Omega Psi Phi, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Chicago HCBU Alliance, Matteson Business Association, Be Covered IL, Respond Now, Healthcare Consortium of IL, CountyCare, Restoration Ministries, and Southland Ministers Health Network.
“What a tremendous difference being covered makes in our lives,” remarked Falk. “But we know there are many more still without—and we are seeing that a lot are the working poor. Of the remaining uninsured who qualify for the Marketplace, more than 7 out of 10 are employed. Almost 40 percent of the uninsured are earning between 139 and 250 percent of the poverty level—which is about 30 to 60 thousand dollars a year for a family of four. In addition, almost half are between the ages of 18 and 34.”
Moreover, men account for 57%—nearly six million—of the 10.5 million Americans who are currently uninsured and eligible to purchase health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
"Men's health is a critical issue in our communities," Congresswoman Robin Kelly said in a statement. "One preventative visit to the doctor could identify and effectively treat health issues before they become chronic. This holiday season, I urge women, who serve as trusted voices to the men in their lives, to encourage their loved ones to get covered. At the same time, men should persuade their family members, friends, and fraternity brothers that signing up for a health plan is not only financially smart, but will help them live a long and healthy life.”

“Signing up for health coverage is critical for our residents; with only a few days left to enroll we want to make sure people are aware and don’t miss this opportunity. I encourage everyone to enroll now to gain health coverage by January 1st. Not only is health insurance important, it is necessary,” said State Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr.

“There are many ways to enroll,” said Brian Gorman, Director of Public Education and Consumer Assistance for Get Covered Illinois. “A consumer may shop on his or her own at or call (866) 311-1119 to find a trained professional in your area. Assistance is free and confidential.”

“The good news is that nearly 8 in 10 of those who qualify for the Marketplace are eligible for financial help,” said State Senator Napoleon B. Harris, III. “Because nearly 3 in 5 uninsured do not know that tax credits are available, we are especially grateful to all the community partners working to reach the uninsured.”

“The Affordable Care Act is making a difference in the lives of Americans. Nationwide, about 17.6 million more consumers now have health coverage than before the ACA— the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades,” State Representative Thaddeus Jones said in a statement. “I encourage our residents, especially young men, to take advantage of the in-person enrollment assistance to find the health insurance plan that is best for them.”

“As State Representative of the 30th District, I am very concerned about access to healthcare for young adults”, State Representative Will Davis said in a statement. “I support the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Congresswoman Kelly's efforts to help inform the public, specifically uninsured African-American males between 18 and 35, about the Marketplace open enrollment period. I encourage anyone that needs health insurance to take advantage of the open enrollment period before it ends January 31, 2016.”

“We are working hard to make it easier to get covered –in fact, you can even do so on your cell phone!—but it takes the hard work of leaders and partners in the community to get the word out,” said Falk. “That is why we are so grateful for the leadership and efforts of State Representative Evans, State Senator Harris, and all these great community organizations.”

Last year, over 15,000 individuals in the 2nd Congressional District selected or were automatically re-enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage through the Marketplace. For coverage to start January 1, individuals must enroll by December 15.

For more information or to find a local assister, please visit or call (866) 311-1119. For more USDHHS Region V updates, be sure to follow @HHSRegion5 on Twitter and use the hashtag #GetCovered.