Category Archives: Updates

Give the gift of health and security!  Please support CCHCC!

Health insurance and public benefits are complicated.

December 2022

By now, most people know that CCHCC is the only organization in Champaign County that can help enroll community members in all forms of health insurance – whether that be Medicaid, Marketplace, or Medicare and Medicare-related programs. But did you know that CCHCC does more than health insurance enrollment work?

Over the years, CCHCC has grown in our ability and expertise to help community members enroll in a wide variety of public programs, including SNAP (food stamps), LIHEAP (energy assistance), hospital financial assistance, disability benefits such as SSI/SSDI, as well as many other programs including Secretary of State discounts for seniors and others. CCHCC has grown our capacity to be able to provide these forms of assistance because we saw the need in our community.

However, did you know that Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) currently does not get any  federal or state funding to help community members enroll in health insurance or other public benefit programs? And yet, even without federal or state funding, CCHCC has been doing enrollment work for Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace plans, as well as other programs for years. And our services are free!

CCHCC staff are federally Certified Application Counselors, and we provide our free services to help thousands of community members get, and keep, affordable health insurance. Besides ACA Marketplace plans, our staff also help with Medicare enrollment, Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, and Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care plans.  

How can we do this work without federal or state grants? The funding that supports CCHCC’s enrollment work comes from community support – including from individual contributions from people like you!



We’ve Got You Covered!Health insurance for all stages of your life

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.


45 Years of CCHCC’s Grassroots Organizing for Health Care Access and Justice!

June 2022

This year, Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) is celebrating 45 years of grassroots organizing for health care access and justice! Thanks to your continued support and involvement, CCHCC has had a definitive and lasting impact on our local health care system and human services since 1977.

You might be surprised to know that many of the local programs and services that improve our community’s health, and that we now take for granted, came about as a result of CCHCC’s community organizing work. This includes services such as school breakfast programs in county schools, hospital financial assistance programs for low-income people, nurse-midwives programs, prenatal care for low-income women, public health for county residents, free dental care for low-income county children, and more! These, and many more programs, are lasting legacies which CCHCC, with your involvement and support, has given our community.

In addition, over the past 25 years, CCHCC has worked on significant environmental issues including protecting the Mahomet Aquifer, as well as forcing a clean-up of the toxic site in Champaign’s 5th & Hill neighborhood (our 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign, which still continues its work). Additionally, CCHCC has helped bring the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to our community, helping to sign up thousands of community members for affordable health insurance. We have also started and continue to participate in ground-breaking initiatives to reduce incarceration rates and provide services in the Champaign County Jail, as well as working with individuals going through reentry in our community, following incarceration in prisons. And, during the pandemic, we have been working to help keep our community informed and to expand access to resources for hard-hit individuals and families, including providing direct financial assistance as a result of grants we were able to get.

From its inception, CCHCC has been committed to improving the health care system by making it more responsive to consumer needs. Often, this has required uncovering abuses within the systems and challenging unfair policies. Even though these protests have received the most media attention and fanfare, CCHCC is proudest of the program initiatives and positive developments with our local health care system that are a direct result of our work – work that involves bringing consumers together with health care providers to build enduring programs and services that improve people’s lives and health.


CCHCC Board and Staff – 1986.

Health care news you can use, from your friends at CCHCC!

Please read below for some important health care news, brought to you by Champaign County Health Care Cosumers (CCHCC).

State of Illinois expands Medicaid coverage to ALL immigrants ages 42-54 – regardless of immigration status. Starting July 1, 2022, everyone in Illinois ages 42 and older will have a pathway to healthcare coverage, regardless of their immigration status.

This win is the result of 8 years of campaigning and thousands of hours of work by dozens of organizations and countless individuals. Congratulations to all who have made a phone call, sent an email, shared their story, and helped build this campaign. Because of you, tens of thousands of people in Illinois will have access to healthcare coverage, many for the first time in decades.

Our work isn’t done yet. We’ll keep fighting for healthcare for ALL, until every person in Illinois has access to healthcare coverage, no matter their immigration status. 

Our health is interdependent and we’re all safer when each of us has access to the healthcare we need. Thank you for supporting the fight for coverage for all!

COVID-19 has helped push the U.S. to its highest death total ever. 2021 was the deadliest year in U.S. history, and new data and research are offering more insights into how it got that bad.

The main reason for the increase in deaths? COVID-19, said Robert Anderson, who oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s work on death statistics.


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

March 28, 2022

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.