get-covered-illinoisThe Affordable Care Act has already been making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.((Nationally, about 20 million more people now have health care because of the ACA.)) In Illinois, more than 622,000 people gained health care during the first year of enrollment. That means that of the 1.7 million who were uninsured before the ACA went into effect, around 900 thousand or more still lack coverage.

Luckily, Get Covered Illinois has the tools and financial help to get the uninsured covered. We all know that dealing with health concerns can be a huge barrier to employment, and workforce development professionals can help reduce that barrier right now. The Open Enrollment Period for 2015 ends on February 15. There is still time.

Even if your focus or expertise does not include health care, integrating a few simple questions into regular case management could be the nudge someone needs to get covered. Many people do not know they can get coverage or that there is financial help available.

Health BenefitsTo find help for yourself or a job seeker, search for a nearby navigator who will provide free, in-person help. Stephanie Altman of the Shriver Center can also answer questions. She shared an informative ACA presentation at CJC’s last Working Group meeting.

You can do further research on the Get Covered Illinois FAQ, Illinois Health Matters, and  Illinois Health Resources (a site especially for assisters and navigators helping others get covered).

You don’t have to be an insurance expert to help someone get covered. You just have to ask.