[December 20, 2013]CHICAGO — Get Covered Illinois
is advising people who have applied for coverage on the federal
website HealthCare.gov and
who believe they may have been incorrectly referred to the state for
Medicaid coverage, to restart the process by using the screening
State officials are offering this guidance because some of the
people who have been flagged by the federal website as not eligible
for private health plans through the Illinois Health Insurance
Marketplace believe they have been incorrectly referred to the
Medicaid program. Federal officials have said they expect to
transfer applications to the state from more than 30,000 people who
are potentially eligible for Medicaid, although the final Medicaid
determination rests with the state.
The GCI screening tool asks
users several simple questions about their income, household size
and if anyone in the family is currently on Medicaid. It uses this
information to determine whether the applicant likely meets the
income levels for Medicaid, or is eligible to purchase coverage
through the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace.
If the screening
tool refers them back to the federal website and they are unable
to remove the application within their existing account, GCI
recommends they create a new account with a different email
address and submit a new application to
If the screening
tool refers them to the state's Medicaid application site,
they can choose to submit an application there.
To obtain additional assistance,
applicants are also encouraged to call the GCI Help Desk at
866-311-1119, with hours between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day.
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, individuals and families
with income from 138 percent up to 400 percent of the federal
poverty level — $15,860 to $45,960 for individuals and from $32,500
up to $94,200 for a family of four — are eligible for subsidies on a
sliding scale if they obtain coverage through the Health Insurance
Marketplace and don't have an alternative source of affordable,
quality coverage. GCI is delivering this guidance through its
statewide system of more than 1,500 navigators and in-person
counselors and is also contacting applicants directly via email and
The state is offering the advice to applicants ahead of Dec. 23,
the first of a series of key enrollment dates under the federal
Affordable Care Act. Consumers must enroll in a health plan by Dec.
23 and have paid a premium by Dec. 31 in order to have coverage on
Jan. 1 through the plans offered on the Health Insurance
Marketplace, which is accessed through
full open enrollment period runs through March 31.
There is no final date to apply for Medicaid eligibility, for
which applications are accepted throughout the year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released
numbers last week for the first two months of enrollment under
the Affordable Care Act that indicate 67,936 applications on
behalf of 124,252 individual people were completed from Illinois
and that 7,043 people have selected a private health care plan
www.healthcare.gov website since Oct. 1.
The numbers released by HHS show that of the completed
applications, 73,949 people are eligible to enroll in a health plan
through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and 28,689 of them qualify
for federal financial subsidies. In addition, 30,446 people were
going to be transferred to the state for potential eligibility for
Medicaid, although the final Medicaid determination rests with the
Illinois officials said traffic on the
website has remained steady, with more than 595,000 website visits
since Oct. 1 and more than 270,000 users of the screening tool.
The ABE site has received more than 99,000 applications.
Anyone seeking assistance in applying for health coverage in
Illinois is encouraged to do so through any of the following