- Associated Press - Friday, July 4, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois is accepting applications for grants to help with the next insurance enrollment period under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

The Department of Public Health announced Thursday that community groups can apply through Aug. 1 for the “Get Covered Illinois” outreach grants.

Spokesman Mike Claffey says about $25 million will be available. Last year, the state granted $27 million to community organizations for hiring “navigators” to assist people with the enrollment process.

Enrollment for 2015 coverage begins Nov. 15 and will run through Feb. 15. That’s a shorter enrollment period than in the program’s first year.

Grant applications will be competitively scored. In a release, state officials say that a statewide distribution of funding based on population and regional and cultural needs will be considered.

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