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May 6, 2013 


Greetings from HFS Director Julie Hamos

Welcome to another periodic edition of HFS e-news to keep you updated on program changes. To register for future editions, please visit HFS E-News Online Registration or download for others who might be interested by visiting: If you are a Medicaid client, this newsletter is not the official notification of any changes that may impact you, and you do not have to respond in any way. This is general information for the public. Thank you,

Julie Hamos

Funding Opportunity:  Illinois In-Person Counselor Grant Program

Beginning October 1, 2013, the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace will open for enrollment. Pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, the Marketplace will be a website where those seeking insurance coverage can shop for health care and determine if they are eligible for financial assistance with premiums and health costs. In Illinois, we estimate that more than half of the Health Insurance Marketplace customers will want help enrolling in the program.

In order to meet their needs, Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace established the In-Person Counselor program (IPC). IPCs will educate people about the new system, help them understand their health plan choices, and facilitate their selection of the plan that is right for them. IPCs will be instrumental in the Marketplace’s plan to create a statewide “Culture of Coverage” by engaging, educating, and enrolling the uninsured in Illinois in qualified health plans.

The Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace recently released the grant application for the In-Person Counselor program. The Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace, in coordination with the Illinois Department of Public Health, will be accepting applications from community groups and other qualified organizations who want to participate in the IPC program. The state has designated approximately $28 million in federal funds for grants to participating groups. Organizations that are selected through the online application process will participate in a training and certification process this summer.

The deadline for the IPC grant application is May 30. Letters of Intent are optional and are due May 13. For more information about the application process for the Illinois IPC Grant Program, go to the Health Care Reform in Illinois - What It Means for You; Funding Opportunity: Illinois In-Person Counselor (IPC) Grant Program webpage.

Please note that the federal government will also provide consumer assistance funding to Illinois agencies through its Navigator program.  Organizations may apply for both Navigator and In-Person Counselor grants, but cannot accept federal and state funding for the exact same activities.  Details about the federal Navigator funding opportunity can be found on the Prevention and Public Health Funds (PPHF) – 2013 – Cooperative Agreement to Support Navigators in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Exchanges grant webpage

Please feel free to ask questions or share comments by e-mailing the HFS Webmaster.