September 26, 2022
Fall and winter are the busy seasons for us at Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC), as we gear up to help hundreds of local residents get their health insurance coverage during the Medicare and ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment periods.
CCHCC – which does not receive any federal or state funds – provides both direct services to local residents, and community education, so that everyone can make the best choices for affordable health insurance coverage.
CCHCC staff are the most experienced enrollment counselors in Champaign County, for Medicare, ACA Marketplace, and Medicaid insurance plans. Our services are provided for free to community members. With your support, CCHCC can provide free, vital direct services to keep our community covered.
Health insurance enrollment – We’ve got you covered! Health insurance enrollment work requires increasingly specialized knowledge and skills – whether for Medicare, or for the ACA Marketplace and Medicaid. Our federally-certified staff are the most experienced enrollment counselors in our community.
This means that anyone – young or old or in between; employed or unemployed; retired; low-income, middle-income, high income, or no income; currently insured or uninsured – can contact CCHCC and we will help them figure out what coverage is available to them, and we will help them get covered!
Medicare Open Enrollment – from October 15 through December 7. If you would like to change your Medicare Advantage plan or Part D prescription drug plan, you will have the opportunity to change for the 2023 plan year starting October 15 – December 7, 2022. CCHCC staff can help you compare plans and complete those enrollments. Even if you already like your plan, it is important to review it during open enrollment to make sure it will remain the same for the following year and continue to cover your medications and doctors.
Open Enrollment til Jan 15!
January 5, 2022
Did you know that the Biden Administration extended the Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace plans to January 15, 2022?
This is great news for individuals and families who still need to sign up for health insurance for this new year, and CCHCC is here to help!
About the ACA Marketplace – private health insurance plans AND subsidies to make plans more affordable: The Affordable Care Act created the Marketplace, where individuals and families can go to purchase private health insurance plans, and qualify for financial assistance to lower the costs of the health insurance plans. But the ACA Marketplace has an Open Enrollment period during which to purchase the Marketplace plans and qualify for subsidies. Fortunately, this Open Enrollment period has been extended until January 15!
To learn more about the ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment, please visit our Marketplace Open Enrollment Center.
You can also view CCHCC’s powerpoint slides presentation on the ACA Marketplace.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Marketplace plans: The ACA Marketplace does allow for enrollment in health insurance plans outside of the Open Enrollment period, but only under certain conditions.
July 7, 2021
Even though we have made great strides in reducing the number of COVID cases and getting community members vaccinated, we cannot pretend that the pandemic is over. Children under 12 are not yet able to get vaccinated and there are many adults who are not able to get vaccinated due to health conditions or obstacles. There are even more who are refusing to get vaccinated.
We must continue with caution, especially given the new and highly transmissible Delta variant. Please keep wearing your mask indoors at grocery stores and other such places, and talk to your friends and family about getting vaccinated—without judgement.
Pandemic challenges – we will continue to be cautious.
CCHCC’s work to provide free services to community members, including health insurance enrollment and prescription assistance, is much harder now that we have to work remotely and practice social-distancing. We are committed to keeping our staff and clients safe. Providing direct services to consumers is more complicated and time-consuming, and requires more back and forth – whether over the phone, email, text, zoom, or regular mail – to get everything done. In addition, there is more to do beyond our regular scope of work! For example, more medically-fragile homeless individuals with complex health care situations need help with shelter and housing as they fall through the cracks of our current community resources. Also, community members need more information about, and help accessing the COVID-19 vaccines. We are sharing information about vaccine clinics and answering questions that folks have about getting vaccinated. All while helping our clients find affordable healthcare!
Thankfully, health insurance is more accessible and affordable than ever before! Not only has the ACA survived another Supreme Court challenge, but the Open Enrollment period has been extended. And, in the state of Illinois, Governor Priztker has just signed a law extending Medicaid benefits for pandemic enrollees until 12 months after the pandemic emergency expires. This means that we have even more opportunities to get our community members covered!
Help us get everyone covered!
May 11, 2021
CCHCC is happy to announce that, recently, there have been expansions in health insurance coverage through both the Medicaid program and the ACA’s Marketplace! Subsidies on the Marketplace have now also been made MORE generous, and even if you already have a subsidy, you might want to see if you qualify for an even better subsidy! These expansions mean that we can get even more community members covered, more affordably! Please read on, and then help spread the word!
ACA Marketplace – Expanded Enrollment Period AND Increased Subsidies!
Did you know that the American Rescue Act included new, more generous benefits for the Health Insurance Marketplace (Healthcare.gov)?
The American Rescue Act created a new Special Enrollment Period until August 15, 2021! So, if you’d like a Marketplace plan (most people qualify for generous subsidies!) but missed the Open Enrollment Period at the end of last year, you now have new opportunities to sign up for a Marketplace plan, until August 15, 2021!
Also, the American Rescue Act increased the subsidies that people can qualify for – even those who already have a Marketplace plan and a subsidy! To benefit from these additional subsidies, you must redo your application to receive a new eligibility determination with the updated amount, otherwise you will receive your subsidy in the form of a tax credit when you file your taxes for 2021. You can contact CCHCC for help with this.
April 14, 2021
Spring is here, and normally Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) would be preparing for our Annual Awards Dinner and our Adbook during this time. However, because of the pandemic, it is still not safe to gather, so CCHCC will not be hosting our Annual Awards Dinner or preparing an Adbook for this spring.
If you would normally contribute to, or attend the CCHCC Dinner, or purchase an ad in our adbook, we instead ask that you consider making a contribution to support our work, which is more expansive and challenging than ever!
Pandemic challenges – what is required of us. CCHCC’s work to provide free services to community members, including health insurance enrollment and prescription assistance, is much harder now that we have to work remotely and practice social-distancing. Providing direct services to consumers is more complicated and time-consuming, and requires more back and forth – whether over the phone, email, text, zoom, or regular mail – to get everything done. In addition, there is more work beyond our regular scope of work! For example, more medically-fragile homeless individuals with complex health care situations need help with shelter and housing as they fall through the cracks of our current community resources. Also, community members need more information about, and help accessing the COVID-19 vaccines. Thankfully, there is a new Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace at healthcare.gov. CCHCC is working on all of this, and more!