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Lost jobs can mean lost health insurance coverage. CCHCC is here to help you get covered!

April 8, 2020

Dear friends,

During this novel corona virus pandemic, many Illinois residents have lost their jobs – and also their health care coverage.

If you, or someone you know has lost health insurance recently, please contact Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) for help.
Although our physical office is closed, CCHCC is still on the job, working with clients and community members remotely by phone and email.

Here is what you need to know:
People who have lost their workplace health insurance during the coronavirus outbreak might qualify for private health insurance coverage – and subsidies to help make the insurance affordable – through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Marketplace.

In Illinois, thanks to our expanded Medicaid program under the ACA, many low-income and no-income Illinois residents will qualify for free (no monthly premiums or deductibles) health insurance coverage through the Medicaid program.

CCHCC’s certified Community Health Workers can help you figure out which insurance program you will qualify for, and can help you with the application process. We are here to help!
You can contact CCHCC by phone (please leave a voicemail message) at 217-352-6533, or by email at

Try to get help as soon as possible, so that you can protect your options for coverage.
Please contact us as soon as you can after you have lost your health insurance. The Medicaid program has open enrollment year-round and people can apply at any time.

However, the Marketplace – which offers private health insurance plans and financial assistance – only allows 60 days for Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs). Eligibility for a Special Enrollment Period is triggered when you have had a change in your circumstances such as loss of job and insurance, significant change in income, the birth of a child, or a move.

It is best to seek help and apply for coverage as soon as possible in order to gather up your documentation and get help for the application process.

A word about COBRA coverage:
If you have lost your job and are offered COBRA in order to continue your job-based health insurance coverage, you should still contact CCHCC to check out your options. COBRA lets you keep your job-based health insurance plan, but with COBRA, you become responsible for the entire cost of the monthly premium – this typically includes the part your employer was paying, as well as the part you were paying monthly. For many people, COBRA coverage is simply unaffordable.

Please help spread the word that help is available.
Unfortunately, the Trump Administration is not dedicating resources to help get the word out about the Marketplace and Special Enrollment Periods, or about Medicaid. So, it is up to the states and community-based organizations like CCHCC to help get the word out.

You can help us and our community by sharing this email with your family, friends, groups, and co-workers.

Thank you for your support!

Champaign County Health Care Consumers