Sangamon County public health employees still don’t have the green light to begin providing one-on-one counseling for people looking to sign up under the state’s health insurance marketplace… but they hope to have it soon.
The delay in certification has been one of the main snags with this week’s launch of “Get Covered Illinois.” Nearly a dozen employees of the county health department have been certified, and 7 more are pending.
But they must also be registered in the state’s “Application for Benefits Eligibility” program… or ABE… in order to help people determine if they qualify for Medicaid or require private insurance. Health department director Jim Stone says that registration is still on hold. But he hopes his workers can start scheduling appointments to assist clients next week, with the first actual appointments to take place the week of October 21st.
Stone says the delay hasn’t posed a big problem so far… because comparatively few people have turned to the health department for assistance in the first week. Consumers have until mid-December to sign up for a plan that would take effect on January 1st.