Sinai Community Institute to Educate the Public on Health Care Options

Release date

Friday, July 19th 2013

Health Insurance Marketplace Recruits Community Groups Across Illinois to Educate the Public on Health Care Options

(Chicago, July 19, 2013) – Sinai Community Institute, a member of Sinai Health System, announced today it is one of 44 community-based organizations around the state of Illinois selected by the administration of Governor Pat Quinn to participate in the outreach and enrollment effort for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The selected organizations will be conducting outreach, providing education and facilitating enrollment in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. Enrollment in the Marketplace will begin on Oct. 1, with pre-enrollment activities beginning this summer.

Sinai Community Institute is very proud to have been selected to participate in the effort to launch the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Debra Wesley, President of Sinai Community Institute. “We know that there is a great need for affordable health insurance coverage in our communities and we look forward to working with our partners to help educate the public about the options that will be available through the Marketplace.”

Sinai Community Institute received a grant of $700,000 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 Lawndale Christian Health Center in its effort.

“We’ve seen an outpouring of interest from community groups across Illinois who understand the importance of this historic effort and are eager to be involved,” Governor Quinn said. “These proven organizations have stepped up and joined our movement to get the word out about insurance options that will improve the health of the people of Illinois. Our goal is to reach out to every corner of the state and make sure that no one is left out of this historic opportunity to obtain quality health coverage and the peace of mind that comes with it.” 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 for Sinai Community Institute 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 of 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.

About Sinai Health System

Sinai Health System, a Chicago-based private, not-for-profit organization, is comprised of seven member organizations: Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Children’s Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Sinai Medical Group, Sinai Community Institute and Sinai Urban Health Institute. The system has over 800 physicians on its hospital medical staffs, 695 licensed beds, 100,000+ annual emergency department patient visits and eight physician residency training programs. For more information, go to