Illinois turns 200 this year and to mark the occasion, Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Bicentennial Commission kicked off a year-long Illinois Bicentennial celebration at Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier on December 3, featuring a speech by the Governor, the cast of “Hamilton” and more.

Another important date to note is the upcoming deadline for open enrollment for Illinois health insurance plans, which ends December 15. If you have not yet enrolled, please visit to enroll online, and get your questions answered by Get Covered representatives, licensed website navigators and certified application counselors.

Also during the week, IDOT for the first time published their annual Illinois Traveler Opinion Survey online, inviting Illinois residents to submit their feedback on how to improve the state’s transportation system.

State kicks off year-long Illinois Bicentennial celebration at Navy Pier

The Illinois Bicentennial Commission kicked off the state’s year-long tribute to Illinois’ 200th birthday at Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier on December 3.

The Illinois Bicentennial will devote the next 365 days to honoring the state’s rich history and growth over the past two centuries. Each celebration and event will showcase individuals, attractions and goods that are born, built and grown here in Illinois, as well as promote ongoing development for future generations to enjoy for years to come. 

As part of the festivities at Navy Pier, the Governor made his Illinois Bicentennial Address, and the cast of “Hamilton” and 100 winners of the commission’s 100-Day Countdown Video Contest joined the Governor on stage.

In Springfield, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library previewed the new Illinois Bicentennial Exhibit, which featured music by the Illinois Symphony.

Municipalities across the state also participated in simultaneous Bicentennial flag-raising ceremonies to honor the state’s momentous birthday.

For more information on the Illinois Bicentennial, and how and where to celebrate, please visit

Get covered before Illinois open enrollment ends on December 15

Illinois residents have until December 15 to enroll in a health insurance plan for 2018, and the Department of Insurance (DOI) has redesigned the online enrollment process to make selecting and enrolling in the right health care plan quick and easy.

DOI has partnered with GoHealth to create, a website that allows individuals to take a comprehensive look at each health care plan available to them. While researching and selecting plans on the website, Get Covered representatives are available online and over the phone to answer questions and walk them through the enrollment process.

The “Get Covered Connector” allows residents to also type in their ZIP codes to find local help in both English and Spanish, and schedule in-person appointments with a licensed website navigator or certified application counselor.

DOI advises that residents not only factor in the cost of the health coverage plans but also the health provider network. Open enrollment period is once a year for six weeks—recently reduced from 12 weeks—so the coverage an individual chooses is likely the plan he/she will have all year. 

Consumers can shop for their health insurance plan online at, by phone at 866-311-1119, through the “Get Covered Connector,” through an insurance company or through a local insurance agent.

IDOT seeks feedback in online survey

he Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) published its annual Illinois Traveler Opinion Survey online this week and is seeking feedback from Illinois residents on the state’s transportation system.

The survey, available now through December 31, asks questions on a range of topics including road conditions, ice-and-snow removal, commuting habits and driving behaviors, IDOT’s website, the state’s rest-area system, Amtrak service, and more.

The results gathered will be used to help guide IDOT in improving the safety, operations and growth of the Illinois transportation system.

While the Illinois Traveler Opinion Survey has been conducted annually since 2001, this year is the first time IDOT has made the survey available online, in an effort to increase submissions and range of feedback.

To take the survey, please click here, or visit To view the results from the 2016 survey, as well as feedback from past years, click here.