Volunteers are being sought by Moraine Township to work as in-person counselors helping residents navigate the new Illinois Health Insurance Exchange. Moraine Township is partnering with the Lake County Health Department to assist southeast Lake County residents to enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Training will take place during August and September in Waukegan and Chicago.
The training to become an "in-person counselor / navigator" consists of an online training portion, a two-day in-person training course, and passing a criminal background check.
"The process to determine what a person or family may be eligible for may be daunting for the average person or family," commented Moraine Township Clerk Gail Feiger Brown, who has completed the training.
"That's why the Township has stepped up to assist. This program is important to our residents and will impact our community," notes Moraine Township Supervisor Anne Flanigan Bassi.
The Health Department estimates that well over 100,000 Lake County residents are uninsured, which impacts the broader community in multiple ways. Under the Affordable Care Act, residents whose income is 138% or less of the poverty line will be eligible for the expanded Medicaid program; those with higher incomes may be eligible for subsidies to help offset the cost of health insurance based on a sliding scale.
Barbara Altman, a Highland Park resident who has completed the training, understands that volunteering for this project is a significant commitment, but she says that she is "thrilled to be participating in a project that will have such a huge impact and benefit so many in our community."
The Township is planning to help residents in its office at 777 Central in Highland Park during weekdays with its existing staff and trained elected officials, and deploy volunteers into the community during weekend and evening hours so that opportunities are convenient regardless of residents' work schedules.
Enrollment in the Insurance Exchange begins October 1, 2013 and extends through March 31, 2014, for coverage beginning January 1, 2014.
For more information, contact Anne Flanigan Bassi, Moraine Township Supervisor at 847-432-3240 or email Supervisor Bassi at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Township's website is http://morainetownship.org.