ACA Navigators Coordinate Ways to Reach Chicago’s Muslim American Communities

obamacare inBy Nand Kapoor

CHICAGO, IL: Prominent community and business leaders from Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood and Devon Avenue corridor gathered together on Nov-15 to discuss ways to work together and help the local residents to get health insurance through the second round of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Held at Metropolitan Asian Family Services (MAFS), the event was jointly organized by the Asian Health Coalition along with MAFS, Compassionate Care Network, and Hamdard Health and Human Services.

“Open enrollment for health insurance started from Nov-15 to Feb-15 and our organizations are working closely with Get Covered Illinois to make sure we are able to pool our resources to maximize our reach to the South Asian and Muslim communities on the north side,” said Ranjana Paintal, Project Director at the Asian Health Coalition. “Our team of 6 trained and certified bilingual navigators are available to offer free and unbiased assistance to the residents to help them understand the benefits of health insurance, the available health plan options, and how they can enroll in the Marketplace or Medicaid,” she further added.

Community leaders and business owners also provided feedback and input on ways to reach the local residents to educate them about the ACA and help them in the enrollment process. Present at the event were Nazneen Begum, navigator from MAFS, and local business and community leaders, including – Rafique Shaik, Executive Director, South Asian Chamber of Commerce, Sher M. Rajput, founding member of Indo-American Center, Sohan Joshi, President National Federation of Indian Association, Roy John of Catholic Church, Shobhana Verma, Coordinator, Chicago Board of Election, Syed Sheeraz, Marketing Manager of Desi Talk, Scharif Mohammed, founding member of Indo-American Member, Nand Kapoor, past president of Association of Indian in America, Madhu Patel of NRI press Club and others business owners.

Speakers included Edwin Chandrasekar from the Asian Health Coalition, Patrick Corcoran from Get Covered Illinois and Abrar Quader from CCN, who addressed topics around the need for health coverage, the essential health benefits covered by health plans under the ACA, and ways to sign up and enroll for health coverage.

Joshi thanked the joint organizers for this noble cause of helping community through ACA, and offered his services and facility to ACA team. These encouraging remarks were also echoed by Rajput and he pledged his commitment to working closely with the organizers, through Medicaid.

Attendees enjoyed hot lunch at MAFS facility which was prepared MAFS kitchen staff.

To learn more about the navigator program, contact Ranjana Paintal, Project Director at or (312) 372-7070 x226. To reach a navigator, contact the following individuals based on language preference:
Arabic-Mohammed 312-721-3803
Bosnian- Asja 773-465-4600 x237
Gujarati-Nazneen 773-465-3105 x32
Hindi & Urdu-
Biswas 312-372-7070 x229
Fauzia 773-465-4600 x31
Naveed 630-853-5306
Nazneen 773-465-3105 x32
Nepali-Biswas 312-372-7070 ext. 229.

For additional information Edwin Chandrasekar (312) 372-7070 x223