The Mask Mandate has ended – but you still need to stay safe

March 10, 2022

The COVID Mask Mandate has ended in most of the U.S. and most of the states. But the pandemic is not over, and a new variant is circulating, and more are sure to come, and not all variants will be “mild”. So-called “mild” variants have still managed to sicken and kills thousands of people.

Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) wants to urge you to still continue to practice safety measures to keep yourself and your loved ones 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. Here’s why.
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, etc.), there will be new variants, and new cycles of increases in infections.

The singular purpose of the virus is to replicate itself, 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 and not even know it – not everyone is aware of whether or not they have an underlying condition.

And, 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.

READ ON!

The Mask Mandate has ended – but you still need to stay safe.

Here’s why and how.

March 10, 2022

The COVID Mask Mandate has ended in most of the U.S. and most of the states. But the pandemic is not over, and a new variant is circulating, and more are sure to come, and not all variants will be “mild”. So-called “mild” variants have still managed to sicken and kills thousands of people.

Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) wants to urge you to still continue to practice safety measures to keep yourself and your loved ones 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. Here’s why.
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, etc.), there will be new variants, and new cycles of increases in infections.

The singular purpose of the virus is to replicate itself, 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 and not even know it – not everyone is aware of whether or not they have an underlying condition.

And, 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.

READ ON!

Ten days left to enroll in Marketplace health insurance!

Open Enrollment til Jan 15!

January 5, 2022

Did you know that the Biden Administration extended the Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace plans to January 15, 2022?

This is great news for individuals and families who still need to sign up for health insurance for this new year, and CCHCC is here to help!

About the ACA Marketplace – private health insurance plans AND subsidies to make plans more affordable: The Affordable Care Act created the Marketplace, where individuals and families can go to purchase private health insurance plans, and qualify for financial assistance to lower the costs of the health insurance plans. But the ACA Marketplace has an Open Enrollment period during which to purchase the Marketplace plans and qualify for subsidies. Fortunately, this Open Enrollment period has been extended until January 15!

To learn more about the ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment, please visit our Marketplace Open Enrollment Center.

You can also view CCHCC’s powerpoint slides presentation on the ACA Marketplace.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Marketplace plans: The ACA Marketplace does allow for enrollment in health insurance plans outside of the Open Enrollment period, but only under certain conditions.

READ ON!

CCHCC remembers our dear friend, George R. Carlisle

December 16, 2021

Many of you who have lived in the Champaign-Urbana community for a long time are probably familiar with George R. Carlisle. George moved away from our community about ten years ago to go live near his sister and her family in Oklahoma.

Sadly, George died from COVID on November 28 of this year, in Bixby, Oklahoma.

George was a man about town. When George lived here, you may have seen him at performances at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, or you may have heard him sing in various church choirs. You may have seen him in older buildings in our community, on and off campus, taking photographs of old toilets and urinals, which seemed to fascinate him. You may even have seen him dumpster-diving after the students left at the end of the semester. And you would certainly have seen him at CCHCC events – at our holiday parties, community meetings, marches, and protests, or just hanging out in our office.

George was (as we say in Texas, where I’m from) a “character”. He was a totally unique and fascinating individual. He was a sort of gentle giant – tall and large with a strong presence, comfortable in any setting, and eager to talk.

George was most likely on the autism spectrum and he spoke in a monotone, with one sentence running right into the other, sometimes unendingly. But what he had to say was almost always fascinating and informative. George was extremely intelligent and well-read, and his interests were many and varied, and you could always count on learning something from him in every conversation.

READ ON!

Marketplace Open Enrollment until Jan 15! Help give the gift of health!

December 15, 2021

Did you know that the Biden Administration extended the Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace plans to January 15, 2022? This is great news for individuals and families who still need to sign up for health insurance for next year, and CCHCC is here to help!

Last week we wrapped up our work on Medicare Open Enrollment, and we were pleased to help so many of our community members sign up for the plans that work best for them, keeping them in-network with their doctors and making sure their prescriptions are covered!

Until recently, we were in the midst of two overlapping Open Enrollments: Medicare Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plans AND the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace Open Enrollment for private health insurance and subsidies!

To learn more about the ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment, please visit our Marketplace Open Enrollment Center.

But, CCHCC provides more than enrollment help – we help people get the health care they need. As part of our enrollment services, we help people get set up with “medical homes” where they can receive primary and preventive care, and referrals for specialty care. We also help pay for people’s prescriptions when they can’t afford them, and we help our clients gain access to affordable dental, vision, and mental health services. Our work gives our clients the gift of health.

And, did you know that CCHCC is the only organization in Champaign County that can help local residents with BOTH Medicare Open Enrollment, as well as ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment? And, we also help with Medicaid enrollment, which is open year-round! And our services are FREE! You can help support CCHCC’s Open Enrollment work by sharing our information with others so that they can get help getting covered, and also by making a financial contribution to CCHCC.

Did you also know that Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) gets no federal or state funding to help community members enroll in health insurance? And yet, even without federal or state funding, CCHCC has been doing enrollment work for the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace plans since the very beginning – October 2013. And, we’ve been doing Medicare enrollment work even longer, and our services are free!

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

Please visit here to learn more about our work, and how you can help support us!

SUPPORT CCHCC!

Thank you for your support!
We appreciate your financial support for our services. Together, we are building a stronger, healthier community – together, we are giving the gift of health!

Sincerely,
Claudia Lennhoff
Executive Director
Champaign County Health Care Consumers