Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tomorrow – Medicare Basics Workshop at Champaign Public Library!

September 12, 2023

It is that time of year again – time to prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment season!

Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15 and goes until December 7.
In order to help our community members prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment season, and to learn more about Medicare basics, CCHCC is teaming up with the Champaign Public Library to host a “Medicare Basics Workshop”, which is open to anyone who has Medicare or who will be new to Medicare.
Please see below for more information about TOMORROW’s workshop, and also about Medicare Open Enrollment.

Medicare Basics Workshop at the Champaign Public Library
WHAT:             Medicare Basics Workshop
WHEN:             Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 10 a.m.
WHERE:          Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
                        Robeson Pavilion Room C
Description: At this workshop, CCHCC staff will provide participants with information about Medicare Open Enrollment, and what Medicare beneficiaries need to do to get ready for Open Enrollment. CCHCC will also provide information for those who are new to Medicare. The following topics will be addressed:
–       The main parts of Medicare (Parts A-D);
–       How to enroll in, or change plans with Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap/supplemental insurance;
–       Medicaid coverage for those who have Medicare;
–       And other programs for local Medicare beneficiaries.
Please wear a mask to this workshop!  COVID is in full swing in our community, so please help protect yourself and others. Remember that if you have been exposed to COVID, you can be asymptomatic for the first 3-5 days, but you can be actively spreading the infection to others.


Medicaid Redeterminations

CCHCC is here to help

August 8, 2023

Do you have Medicaid, or do you know someone who has Medicaid? If so, understanding the process for Medicaid Redeterminations is crucial, in order to maintain one’s Medicaid coverage.
Illinois Medicaid has started to renew benefits for the first time in 3 years, since the pandemic began!
In order to ensure ongoing coverage, Medicaid beneficiaries will have to do the following:

    •    Update your address!
    ◦    Online:
    ◦    Phone: 877-805-5312
    •    Check your mail!
    •    Complete the application and return it!

People who only receive Social Security benefits will be automatically renewed and sent a notice of their renewal, but others will have to complete a household specific form to renew benefits over the course of the year.

Here is how CCHCC can help:
CCHCC can help Medicaid beneficiaries in several different ways. We can help clients:
    •    Complete paper applications;
    •    Create accounts to complete renewals online;
    •    Update addresses online (having a current address is crucial!);
    •    Find their renewal dates; and,
    •    Submit by fax or online additional documentation as requested by DHS.


Medicaid’s continuous enrollment guarantee is ending.

CCHCC can help!

Pandemic benefits established by Congress are coming to an end. One of the most important benefits has been the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Guarantee, which is now coming to an end. This is often referred to as the “unwinding” of Medicaid.
Please read on for more information below, and to learn how Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) can help those who have benefitted from Medicaid during the pandemic.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act created an important health care safeguard for the poorest Americans – Medicaid eligibility and continuous enrollment in Medicaid, for people who might have otherwise lost it during the COVID pandemic.
This benefit allowed people to remain on Medicaid without having to go through the usual redetermination process, which is often fraught and often results in people losing their Medicaid coverage. This benefit has been in place for nearly three years. But now, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, Congress has set March 31, 2023 as a firm date for the end of continuous coverage.
After that date, states will once again have to conduct eligibility redeterminations for Medicaid. This will require states to do in a matter of months what they previously would have been doing continuously over multiple years.


Medicare Open Enrollment information; and updates for State Retirees – your options

October 20, 2022

Medicare Open Enrollment season is upon us! Medicare Open Enrollment takes place from October 15 to December 7, for plans that will take effect on January 1, 2023.
Please read this message to learn more about Medicare Open Enrollment, how to schedule with CCHCC for help with Medicare Open Enrollment, and what options exist for State Retirees.
Medicare is complicated! CCHCC is here to help. Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older; certain younger people with disabilities; and people with End-Stage Renal Disease.
Medicare is complicated. There are many parts, and there are many options for additional coverage. And there are more expenses that go with Medicare than most people realize. To learn more about Medicare, go to CCHCC’s Medicare Open Enrollment Center.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Part D prescription drug plan, the Medicare Open Enrollment period is a great time to review your plan for any changes for the coming year of coverage, or to change plans if needed. Even if you love your plan, CCHCC always encourages Medicare beneficiaries to review their plan for the coming year, as formularies for medications and other benefits can change.


March 2022 – We are still in the COVID pandemic. CCHCC is here to help you stay safe!

March/April 2022

En Español: Esta es una carta solicitando una donación para el trabajo que hace CCHCC. Si tiene preguntas sobre esta carta, o para mas información sobre donando a CCHCC, llame a (217) 352-6533 y pregunte por Chris o Adani.

Dear Friends,

The COVID Mask Mandate has ended in most of the U.S. and most of the states. And, unfortunately, and most likely due to political pressures, the CDC has changed its guidelines for measuring risk and keeping communities and individuals safe. But the pandemic is not over, and two new variants are circulating, and more are sure to come – and not all variants will be “mild”. Even so-called “mild” variants have still managed to sicken and kills thousands of people, and produce “long COVID” cases.

Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) urges you to still continue to practice safety measures to keep yourself, your loved ones, and our community safe from COVID. Also, we want to let you know of resources that can help keep you safe.

Mask mandates are over – but we at CCHCC are continuing to mask up. Although the mask mandates are over, the virus is still circulating, and we are still in a pandemic. The pandemic is world-wide, and as long the virus continues to circulate (due to inadequate vaccination rates, reduction of precautions, travel, etc.), there will be new variants, and new cycles of increases in infections.

Remember that the singular purpose of the virus is to replicate itself – this is literally its reason for being – and it can only do that by infecting people. It is a very determined virus, and we are not yet out of the woods with it.

The bottom line is that you can still get infected and sick from the virus, because it is still circulating. People who are at high-risk due to age, pre-existing conditions, autoimmune and autoinflammatory conditions, or unknown genetic conditions, can get very sick and die from this virus. Also, you might be at risk for severe illness and not even know it – not everyone is aware of whether or not they have an underlying condition. But whether you get sick from COVID or not, you can still infect others, and they can get sick.

The perils of COVID go beyond the initial illness and a person’s ability to survive that illness. Long COVID is estimated to affect up to 30% of those who had COVID. It is estimated that approximately 23.44 million Americans have long COVID and many are now disabled by this illness. No one knows how long this can last, but we do know that all organ systems in the body can be affected. Epidemiologists predict that the health “footprint” of COVID will be vast and long-lasting.

Asymptomatic or “mild” cases of COVID are not benign. The medical and scientific communities are learning that even asymptomatic or “mild” infections can cause long-term lasting damage to the brain and cardiovascular system in a significant proportion of people who ever had the virus. The long-term impacts are no joke, and can be devastating. In addition, people with asymptomatic and “mild” cases can also spread COVID.

The virus, in numbers – not a pretty picture. As of the writing of this letter, the unofficial U.S. COVID toll is over 79.4 million cases, and over 966,000 deaths (we are nearing 1 million deaths!).

CCHCC recommends continued precautions.
• Keep masking up! Wear a mask when you are indoors with other people – especially around people who are not part of your “bubble”. This includes when you go to the grocery store, etc. Wear an N95 or KN95 mask if possible.

• Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and water, rubbing the soap and water all over your hand, including between your fingers and thumbs and up to your wrist. Make sure to fully dry your hands. Viruses thrive in damp environments.

• Continue to socially distance when you are around others who are not in your “bubble”. Keep 6 feet from other people AND wear your mask!

• Ventilate indoor environments when people gather (this can be as simple as opening windows and doors to create a cross-breeze).

Resources are available! There are many tools available to fight this virus, including vaccines and boosters, as well as free masks and testing kits.

To find where you can go to get vaccinated or boosted and where to get tested, please visit the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District website at:

Our work is much harder and more time-consuming during the pandemic. CCHCC’s work to provide free services to consumers, including health insurance enrollment, is much harder during the pandemic while we work remotely and practice social-distancing. We have many more people in need of our services, and providing direct services to consumers is more complicated and time-consuming, but we continue to work with individuals and families, using all the tools available, including phone, email, zoom, text, U.S. mail, and working with people “in the field”. We continue to work “remotely” in order to keep our staff, clients, and our community safe. If you need help with any of these resources, or help applying for health insurance, please contact CCHCC by email at or by phone at 217-352-6533.

No Annual Awards Dinner. For the third year in a row, CCHCC is foregoing our favorite event, our Annual Awards Dinner. It is simply not safe to hold large, indoor gatherings featuring food and drink. We miss seeing everyone, and look forward to a time when we can gather again!

Thank you for your support! We appreciate your financial support for our services, and your help getting the word out to others about CCHCC. Together, we are working to help our community survive the pandemic, and building a stronger, healthier community. Together, we are giving the gift of health!



Claudia Lennhoff
Executive Director