What has been retail space in the heart of downtown Davenport is now a new center where people can sign up for health insurance.
Genesis Health System officially opened the Enroll Quad-Cities office Thursday morning at 114 W. 2nd St., between a Subway restaurant and the Junior Achievement of the Heartland location.
The office will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and by appointment Fridays and Saturdays. It will be closed Sundays.
Residents of Iowa and Illinois will be able to learn about options for health coverage mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
"This is a very important milestone in our goal to help all Quad-City residents get the health insurance they need," said Ken Croken, the vice president of community relations for Genesis Health System, a partner in the Enroll Quad-Cities effort.
Croken said previous enrollment efforts were keyed to events — set times at area libraries. This new effort is the first of its kind in the region, maybe in all of Iowa, he added.
Navigators — who are certified to aid the public in the informational and sign-up process — will staff the office, as will counselors from organizations such as the Rock Island County Health Department, Community Health Care Inc. and others.
The location is key, said Kimberly Kim, who works as a navigator for Genesis. It's on a bus line and close to social service providers, including the Humility of Mary Shelter Inc.
Croken estimates that as many as 10,000 people have signed up for health insurance through medical programs in Iowa and Illinois in addition to the state health insurance marketplaces.