Winnebago County Health Department received a grant of $750,000 and has submitted a detailed plan to the
state describing how it will use the funds to conduct outreach, education and enrollment activities. The group is partnering with the following organizations in its effort: OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford Health
System, SwedishAmerican Health System,

Rock Valley College, Lifescape Community Services, United Way of Rock River Valley, Rockford Health Council, YWCA Rockford, City of Rockford Human Services, La Voz Latina, and TASC, Inc.,

The state has received federal funding to cover the start-up costs and the first year of operations of the Marketplace. Over the coming weeks and months, selected staffers from Winnebago County Health Department
and partner organizations will take part in an intensive training program designed to prepare them to educate consumers about the ACA and their health care options. The grants were awarded through a competitive application process administered by the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

"We know that many of those who are eligible for subsidized coverage through the ACA have never, or rarely,
had access to comprehensive health coverage. Our goal is to help them make decisions about what kind of health care coverage best suits their needs," Marketplace Director Jennifer Koehler said. "We have a big job to do between now and Oct. 1 in terms of educating our target population about the opportunities for quality coverage available to them through the Health Insurance Marketplace."

"The ACA presents an historic opportunity for us to improve the overall health of the people of Illinois," IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. "We are very fortunate to be able to partner with these dedicated community groups from all across the state to help us get the word out and ensure that every eligible person in Illinois who needs health coverage is able to obtain it through the Marketplace."

Enrollment in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace will begin on Oct. 1, with coverage to start Jan. 1, 2014.
The Marketplace will be accessed through a user-friendly website where individuals, families and small businesses will be able to compare health care policies and premiums and purchase comprehensive health coverage. Those with income between 138 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level will receive subsidies on a sliding scale if they obtain coverage through the marketplace.