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Get help in Rogers Park with signing up for health insurance

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Chicagoans still concerned about which health insurance to purchase may find help in the 49th Ward Services Office. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sat., Dec. 7, at 7356 N. Greenview and 1774 W. Greenleaf, "Health Care Navigators" experts will be present to answer health insurance questions.

Attendants must bring a form of identification (ex. driver's license, state ID, Social Security card, student visa) and verification of income (ex. pay stubs, income tax return).

The 49th Ward Service Office is the 7356 N. Greenview location. The 49th Ward Democratic Party Headquarters is the 1774 W. Greenleaf location. Both are located in Rogers Park.

According to Illinois.gov, Health Management Associates (HMA) suggest the following goals for the Illinois' Navigator Program: provide unbiased and accurate eligibility and enrollment information for customers; provide unbiased and accurate information on qualified health plans (QHP) options to support consumers in choosing the health plan that is best for their needs; and promote access to affordable coverage through the Exchange and other insurance affordability programs. Click here to read more of the full report.

Meanwhile in another Midwestern city, Jefferson City, Mo., is challenging the rights of navigators.

An STL Today report states that a few nonprofit groups and doctors trying to help people sign up for subsidized health insurance sued the Missouri Department of Insurance, accusing a state licensing law of violating a federal law.

These groups are fighting against a law barring insurance "navigators" from providing advice about health insurance coverage.

If people feel more comfortable signing up for health insurance privately, the deadline for the Affordable Care Act ends December 23 for coverage starting Jan. 1. The March 31 enrollment deadline is set to avoid a financial penalty for being uninsured in 2014.

Links to sign up are at HealthCare.gov and GetCoveredIllinois.gov.

For those interested in the difference between single-payer health insurance, Affordable Care Act (nicknamed Obamacare) or the free market, there will be a public debate at 2 p.m., in Edgewater Library at 6000 N. Broadway St. Click here for details.

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