October , 2018

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By Kaitlyn Rowney

State Communications Lead – Illinois Get Covered America campaign

Nearly 340,000 African-Americans lack insurance in Illinois. But thanks to a very successful enrollment event on Saturday, February 8 at Allen Metropolitan Church, more Chicagoans are now signed up for health care.

April Caldwell is one of the many people who signed up for insurance during the enrollment workshop. She sat down with an in-person assister for free, personal application help. After only 20 minutes, Caldwell was signed up for coverage. The 19 year old has asthma and said she is most looking forward to not having to worry about getting the medications she needs.

“Having insurance is going to be so much better,” said Caldwell. “I won’t have to worry so much. My inhaler is running low so the first thing I’ll do is get my prescription taken care of.”

Get Covered America, a national non-profit, non-partisan organization, hosted the event in partnership with Allen Metropolitan and the Chicago District Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME). The event was so well attended, another workshop is planned for Saturday, February 15 from 11 am to 6pm at Allen Metropolitan. CME Presiding Elder Rev. Karen Walker-McClure also said CME plans to hold events at other CME churches across Illinois.

“There are so many people in our congregations who don’t have coverage,” said Rev. Walker-McClure. “I “I feel empowered to speak with our members and encourage them to sign-up for insurance. I hope we can help more people sign-up and invite their friends and neighbors to join as well.”

Allen Metropolitan isn’t the only church in Roseland that’s taken an active role in helping the community get insured. Just down the street at Lilydale First Baptist Church, Rev. Alvin Love has hosted several enrollment events with another planned in March.

Rev. Love is a leader in the movement for African-American church leaders to speak about health care from the pulpit. This week he is in Orlando speaking at the 40th Annual African-America Pastor’s Retreat. He was invited to spread information about the Affordable Care Act, the work he’s doing in Roseland, and to talk about the importance of helping congregants get insured. As the March 31st open enrollment deadline nears, Rev. Love hopes more and more churches and community members will join the movement to get as many people insured as possible.

Caldwell said she’ll also be encouraging others to get signed up for insurance, especially young people she knows. She’s so excited about her coverage, she’s joining Get Covered America as a volunteer so she can spread the word about the need to enroll.

“No matter what age you are you need insurance. You never know what might happen. It’s too important not to sign-up,” said Caldwell.

For more information about enrollment events in Chicago, head to www.GetCoveredAmerica.org. There you can also get more information about insurance or sign-up to be a volunteer.

Next enrollment event – Open to everyone in the community.

Saturday, February 15
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Allen Metropolitan CME Church
10946 S. Lowe Street
Chicago, IL 60628

If you are participating in enrollment please bring the following:
1) State I.D. and Driver’s License
2) Proof of residency
3) Proof of income, if any.

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