Category Archives: Medicare

It’s Open Enrollment Season for Medicare and Marketplace – CCHCC is here to help!

When fall begins, many people think of cooler weather and pumpkin spice in everything, everywhere. But for us at Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC), fall and winter mean the beginning of our busiest seasons as we gear up to help hundreds of local residents get their health insurance coverage during the Medicare and Marketplace Open Enrollment periods.

CCHCC provides both free 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 2024 plan year starting October 15 – December 7, 2023. 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 preferred medications and doctors.

Will you be enrolling in Medicare coverage for the first time? If so, CCHCC can help! Many people who are new to Medicare get overwhelmed by the process of signing up to begin Medicare Parts A and B coverage, and then having to decide whether or not to get an Advantage plan, a Supplement, and/or a Part D prescription drug plan. CCHCC’s experienced staff can help you learn about Medicare and help you choose the kind of coverage that best meets your needs.

Programs to make Medicare coverage more affordable. In addition to helping people sign up for Medicare coverage, CCHCC can also help evaluate each client for their eligibility for programs to help make Medicare coverage more affordable, including the Medicare Savings Program, which can help pay for certain Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance. Likewise, the Medicare Extra Help program can help pay the costs of Medicare prescription drug coverage and co-pays for people who meet the income criteria. Both the Medicare Savings Program and the Medicare Extra Help Program are underutilized, as most people who qualify for these programs do not even know about them. CCHCC can help screen individuals for eligibility for these programs, and help with the applications.

Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace Open Enrollment – November 1, 2023 through January 15, 2024. The ACA Marketplace ( Open Enrollment period is now from November 1 through January 15, for people who are seeking an individual health insurance plan – usually individuals who do not have coverage through their employer – and for those who need to renew their Marketplace plan. If you enroll in a Marketplace plan by December 15 and pay your first premium in that timeframe, then your plan will begin on January 1, 2024. If you sign up between December 16 and January 15 and pay your first premium in that timeframe, then your plan will begin on February 1, 2024.


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.


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.