For Immediate Release
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Hundreds of Thousands Visit State Website,
Use Screening Tool to Access Health Care Options
CHICAGO – Twelve days after launching GetCoveredIllinois.gov, Illinois’ Health Marketplace website is operating smoothly and generating broad interest. Here is an operational update:
The total number of visitors to the Get Covered Illinois site has surpassed 350,000, with 231,000 of those being unique visitors. The website has garnered well over one million page views, with the two most popular sections being the “Explore Coverage Options” tab and the “Individual and Family Coverage” tab.
State officials are encouraged with the significant number of Illinoisans who have used the simple screening tool. This user-friendly tool, found on the “How to Get Covered” tab of the home page, determines whether individuals are eligible for either private insurance in the Marketplace, or State Medicaid. Medicaid has been expanded recently residents. More than 100, 000 people have answered the six household questions and then been routed either to “ABE”, the State’s rebranded Medicaid page (Application for Benefits Eligibility) or to the Federal Marketplace (healthcare.gov) where they can shop among multiple options for private insurance.
CALL CENTER/HELP DESK:
The Get Covered Illinois Help Desk – (866) 311-1119 - has received more than 5,000 calls since October 1, with an average length per call of five minutes. Open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Help Desk plays a key role in educating people about the Get Covered Illinois options (either Medicaid, or marketplace insurance).
ABE (Application for Benefits Eligibility, also known as Medicaid):
So far, nearly 25,000 people have created accounts and more than 14,000 have submitted applications for the state’s expanded Medicaid program as established under the Affordable Care Act. More than 15,000 people have contacted the ABE call center, spending an average of more than 6 minutes with specially trained phone counselors. Average wait time is eight seconds.
The number of state-certified Navigators trained to provide in-person assistance to people trying to educate themselves about their health insurance options has increased to more than 600 in the last 12 days. The Navigators in Illinois are distributed across a statewide network of community organizations. Consumers can set up an appointment by entering their zip code at GetCoveredIllinois.gov and viewing a list of community partners near them. Each partner features Navigators who provide free in-person counseling on how to shop for insurance or determine Medicaid eligibility.
“Illinoisans can be very proud that we have had one of the more successful Exchange launches in the nation,” said Jennifer Koehler, Executive Director of Get Covered Illinois. “Our State portal, Get Covered Illinois, is off to a smooth start and in looking at the web traffic, it is a clear part of the educational process that must take place so people can make the appropriate decisions regarding coverage. Education will remain the focus of our message in the near term, since consumers have until March 31 to purchase insurance.”
GetCoveredIllinois.gov is the official website for Illinois residents to compare health plans side-by-side, get help from special Navigators or Help Desk phone specialists and apply for financial support.
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