Get Covered America’s “Countdown to Get Covered” Series: Enrollment Block Party at Chicago Hospital Helps More than 100 Chicagoans Get Covered

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
CONTACT: Justin Nisly | 202-601-2494

Washington, DC – With 13 days left until the deadline to enroll in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Get Covered America is hosting thousands of events across the country to make sure that communities have access to the resources they need to enroll by the March 31 deadline. Get Covered America team members in Chicago partnered with a local hospital to host a successful and fun community enrollment block party to help Illinoisans cross the finish line to enrollment. The daily “Countdown to Get Covered Series” features stories of creative events and consumer outreach from the frontlines of enrollment. The previous “Countdown to Get Covered” updates are available here.

An enrollment event at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, IL on March 15 was a huge success. Called “Race 2 the Finish,” the indoor block party included food, music, balloon animals, arts and crafts for kids, and multicultural insurance enrollment assistance. There was a line of consumers waiting before the event even began. More than 115 consumers attended the event and around 60 Illinoisans got signed up for insurance.

Jose Corona got signed up for a silver plan through the Marketplace. He’s a tarmac truck driver at O’Hare International Airport, but his job doesn’t offer health benefits. Corona hasn’t been covered in the last 10 years and says he’s paid thousands of dollars out of pocket over the years for medical care. Corona says he can’t wait to receive his insurance card in the mail and schedule a doctor’s appointment. He says he’s especially excited to have dental insurance, something he’s never had before.

Linda Papciak also successfully enrolled during the event at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Papciak is a freelance writer and learned she is eligible for Medicaid. She had tried to sign up through on her own, but had issues with her application. The in-person assister she spoke with during the enrollment event was able to go back into her application, correct the errors Papciak had made and help her enroll in Medicaid. Papciak said the free, in-person assistance was a lifesaver because she was able to walk away with the peace of mind knowing she is now covered.

This enrollment event also broke new ground in Illinois: for the first time, new enrollees had the opportunity to speak with a representative from Swedish Covenant Hospital who could help them find an appropriate primary care physician and even schedule their first doctor’s appointment.

“Getting the right type of health insurance is crucial, but the process doesn’t stop there,” said Swedish Covenant Hospital CEO Mark Newton. “It can be a daunting task to navigate the health care system, especially for people who have gone without coverage for a while. We’re making this as simple and accessible as possible, by giving our community members the opportunity to activate their new coverage immediately and find the right primary care physician for their needs.”

Upcoming Illinois events include enrollment workshops at community colleges, churches and community organizations across the state. Volunteer phonebanks and canvasses are also happening every day across Illinois as Get Covered America works to reach as many residents as possible to talk about the March 31 deadline to get insured.

To learn more about how Get Covered America is reaching out to consumers in Illinois, contact to request an interview with Illinois State Director David Elin.

About the “Countdown to Get Covered” Push

This event is one of thousands of events happening during Get Covered America’s March outreach blitz that will mobilize thousands of partner organizations and tens of thousands of volunteers to reach out to uninsured consumers before the March 31 deadline to enroll in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The all-out push will employ grassroots outreach, an aggressive advertising campaign, a multi-state bus tour, and events targeted to youth, women, Latinos, and African-Americans to reach uninsured consumers where they are with the facts they need to get covered. Enroll America staff and volunteers will also host daily enrollment events during the last two weeks of open enrollment in the following communities to make sure consumers have access to in-person enrollment assistance: Phoenix, AZ; Miami, FL; Broward County, FL; Palm Beach County, FL; Tampa, FL; Orlando, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Detroit/Ann Arbor, MI; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; Greensboro, NC; Northern NJ; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Memphis, TN; Houston, TX; Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; McAllen, TX; El Paso, TX; Waco, TX; and Dallas, TX.

About Get Covered America and Enroll America

Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in 11 states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN, and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about the new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

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