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!
February 9, 2021
We at Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) are happy to share some good news with you regarding the State of Illinois Medicaid program, and the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace for health insurance!
You can help our community members by sharing this information and letting people know that if they need help with health insurance, they can contact CCHCC for help. Below are the updates CCHCC wants to share with you.
Enrollment for Illinois Medicaid is open year-round!
CCHCC wants to remind everyone that enrollment in Medicaid is open year-round! There is no particular open enrollment period, so people can apply year-round, and CCHCC can help! As an example of who can qualify for Medicaid in Illinois – an individual earning less than $17,609 annually is eligible for Medicaid. A couple earning less than $23,791, is eligible for Medicaid.
And, Medicaid has NO monthly premiums, NO deductibles, and very low or no co-pays for doctors’ visits and prescriptions.
IL Medicaid has been expanded to cover elderly low-income immigrants!
Illinois has made history as the first state in the nation to extend health insurance coverage to immigrant seniors! As of December 1, 2020, low-income immigrant seniors can qualify for Medicaid coverage. A social security number is NOT required! CCHCC can provide free help with those enrollments.
Read the rest of the good news here.