Learn about new health insurance laws at October ‘Care Fair’

Be Covered Illinois, the statewide grassroots public outreach and education effort focused on helping people understand how the new health insurance law impacts them, announces a free community health event on Chicago’s southwest side. The Be Covered Illinois Care Fair will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 6, at Chicago Indoor Sports, located at 3900 S. Ashland Ave., just south of Pershing Road. CTA bus routes #9 and #39 stop at West Pershing and South Ashland Avenue. Those driving to the venue can enter the parking lot at the West Pershing Road entrance.

The family-focused event features a variety of free services including health screenings and vaccinations, information about a range of community resources, an ACA Zone, where most every question about the Affordable Care Act and health care reform can be answered, a Kids’ Fun Zone, a story wall where attendees can share their stories and experiences, and an enrollment section staffed by state-certified assisters who can help uninsured residents enroll in health insurance on the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. There will even be a healthy food giveaway for the first 1,000 families.

“It’s about helping people better understand and navigate the changing health care system,” said Donna Gerber, vice president of community investment and the chair of the Be Covered Illinois campaign. “The Be Covered Illinois Care Fair is one more way we’re reaching out to uninsured Illinoisans to help them prepare for the enrollment period that begins October 1st and runs through March 31, 2014. We are working with our more than 50 community partners to create an informational and fun event that can help people make better sense of health care reform and take the appropriate steps to “be covered.”

Barbara Otto, CEO of Health & Disability Advocates, one of the founding partners of the Be Covered Illinois campaign added, “For more than 20 years, Health & Disability Advocates has been promoting cross-sector partnerships that understand access to healthcare is at the center of vibrant, prosperous communities. We’re thrilled to partner with Be Covered Illinois to change health care and transform communities.”

Bi-lingual subject matter experts and certified counselors will be available for Spanish-speaking attendees at the Care Fair, and all of the Be Covered Illinois informational materials, website and 800 toll free information telephone numbers are also offered in English and Spanish. Be Covered Illinois, launched last April with community partners offering user-friendly educational materials and information about the new law through a website (www.BeCoveredIllinois.org), a toll-free Q & A hotline (888-809-2796 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT) and a text message option (text 33633 with the word, JOINIL for English, or UNIRIL for Spanish), as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Organizations interested in having a presence at the Be Covered Illinois Care Fair can e-mail: info@becoveredillinois.org.

­­— Provided by Be Covered Illinois