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CCHCC E-Mail Newsletter – November 2009

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CCHCC E-Mail Newsletter – November 2009
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1. Campaign & Program Updates
2. Health Action Network
3. Ask an Advocate
4. Upcoming Meetings & Events
5. Support CCHCC

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Dear Friends,

Welcome! Thank you for reading the Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) E-mail Newsletter. The goal of the CCHCC E-mail Newsletter is to keep you up-to-date on CCHCC campaigns and activities, and let you know of ways to support health care justice in your very own community.

Have any feedback for the CCHCC E-mail Newsletter? Want more information on a certain campaign or program? Have a question for “Ask the Advocate?” Email Allison with feedback on the newsletter at allison@HealthCareconsumers.org.

1. CAMPAIGN & PROGRAM UPDATES

— Health Care Access Task Force:
The Health Care Access Task Force has been working on improving access to health care in our community for several years, and now we are on the verge of a huge victory! In order to come into compliance with new federal laws and regulations, Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Clinic have proposed a merger in which Carle Clinic would become a non-profit physician clinic. This merger has the potential to be the single best thing to happen in this community to make health care more accessible. CCHCC is urging strong community support for the proposed merger, while also requesting formal assurances on particular issues of concern. As a part of the merger process, the change in ownership structure must be approved by the IL Health Facilities Planning Board, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process. As part of that process, public hearings can be held in order to hear from the affected communities about whether or not they support the proposed change and why. As a community, we have a tremendous opportunity through this CON process to voice our support for this proposed merger. You are invited to attend the CON hearing, to be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 10:00am. Visit our website to find out more information, or to submit your comment online if you are unable to attend the hearing.
http://www.HealthCareconsumers.org/index.php?action=Display-Page&id=722

— 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign:
The 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign is continuing its work to protect the health of the neighborhood and the rights of the community in relation to the toxic site in Champaign. Many local organizations have already endorsed the 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign! If you belong to any group that wants to get involved, call Grant at (217) 352-6533 or visit our website for more information:
http://www.HealthCareconsumers.org/index.php?action=Display-Page&id=650

— Medicare Task Force:
Medicare Part D Open Enrollment for 2010 begins November 15, 2009 and ends December 31, 2009. During this time, insurance companies are announcing changes to their formularies, premiums, deductibles, and the coverage gap known as the Donut Hole for the coming year. Medicare beneficiaries need to take this opportunity to assess if their current plan is meeting their needs and if they need to switch plans. Medicare beneficiaries are being flooded with mail and phone calls from insurance agents trying to get their business, so it is important for them to be informed consumers and choose their Part D plan carefully. The Medicare Task Force, along with a coalition of senior organizations throughout the state of Illinois, plans to hold a press conference to inform Medicare beneficiaries in our community about changes to Part D in 2010 and what they should be on the lookout for during the Open Enrollment season. We will be sending out an e-mail in the next week with the finalized date and location of our press conference. Medicare beneficiaries stay tuned!

2. HEALTH ACTION NETWORK – TAKE ACTION TODAY!
Show your support for the Carle Foundation Hospital & Carle Clinic merger! As a community, we have an important opportunity through this Certificate of Need process to voice our support for the proposed merger while also demanding that the formal assurances on issues of concern.

How you can take action:

A) Attend the hearing!
Please join us at the community hearing on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 10:00am at the Urbana City Building (400 South Vine in Urbana). At this hearing you can give testimony about why you support the merger and why this is important for our community.

B) Submit your testimony!
Unable to attend the hearing? Then visit our website to submit testimony. CCHCC will bring your testimony to the hearing on 11/4/09. Fill out the form at the bottom of the webpage and write you testimony in the “Comments” section.
http://www.HealthCareconsumers.org/index.php?action=Display-Page&id=722

Thank you for taking action!!

3. ASK AN ADVOCATE

Question: I need help affording dental care – are there any programs that could help me?

Answer: Champaign County Health Care Consumers has developed a program for low-income, uninsured adults in Champaign County to receive discounted dental care. Through our Dental Referral Program, we collaborate with area dentists to provide dental care at a discounted rate to uninsured adults whose income falls below 185% of the poverty line. CCHCC screens and qualifies the clients and schedules their dental appointments with the participating dentists.

To be eligible for the Dental Referral Program, you must be:
    * an adult living in Champaign County;
    * have no dental insurance; and
    * have an income below 185% of the federal poverty level ($20,036 for 1 person;    $25,327 for 2 people, etc).

At the first appointment with the DRP dentist, clients are charged a fixed price (approximately $15) and will get x-rays, an oral assessment, and a treatment plan. After this consultation visit, subsequent dental services will be discounted on a sliding scale basis, and the client must pay for those services at the time of each visit. In addition to this program, CCHCC also provides information, referral, and assistance services for consumers who are seeking access to dental care.

The waiting time for the Dental Referral Program varies, but is generally between 1 and 3 months.

Call CCHCC’s Consumer Health Hotline at (217) 352-6533 for this program, or any other health care question.

4. UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS

— Attend the Certificate of Need Hearing on the proposed Carle Clinic & Carle Hospital merger on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 10:00am at the Urbana City Building (400 S. Vine in Urbana). Let the Health Facility Planning Board know that you support a non-profit physician clinic in our community!
http://www.HealthCareconsumers.org/index.php?action=Display-Page&id=722

— Attend the next Health Care Access Task Force meeting on Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. at the Wesley United Methodist Church (Green and Goodwin in Urbana). The Health Care Access Task Force meets each month to work on health care access in our community. We’d love to see you there! Call us at(217) 352-6533 with questions or to RSVP.

5. SUPPORT CCHCC

It is time for CCHCC’s annual raffle – so get your tickets today! Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. All proceeds support the CCHCC Hotline and Dental Referral Program. Drawing to be held on December 4, 2009. Need not be present to win. Great prizes include t-shirts, food, gift certificates, and more!

Buy your tickets online at the CCHCC store today!
http://www.HealthCareconsumers.org/index.php?action=Display-Store

Or email allison@HealthCareconsumers.org to buy tickets through the mail.  

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