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September 2023 – It’s Open Enrollment Season for Medicare and Marketplace – CCHCC is here to help!

September 2023

En Español: Esta es una carta solicitando una donación para el trabajo que hace CCHCC. Si tiene preguntas sobre esta carta, o para mas información sobre donando a CCHCC, llame a (217) 352-6533 y pregunte por Chris o Adani.

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.

Even if you have a Marketplace plan that you like, CCHCC encourages you to review the plan for the coming year, to make sure it continues to work for you. We also encourage you to update your information on the Marketplace, since income guidelines for subsidies, which make the plans more affordable, change from year to year. CCHCC’s federally-certified application counselors can help!

Medicaid enrollment is open year-round. Unlike Medicare and the ACA’s Marketplace, there is no open enrollment period for Medicaid coverage. Medicaid is open year-round, so people can apply for Medicaid at any time in the year. CCHCC helps community members with these applications on a year-round basis. And if you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicaid, or a Marketplace plan with a subsidy, CCHCC can help you sort it out!

CCHCC needs your financial support, and your active and ongoing involvement in our efforts to help our community members get covered. Please help spread the word about our services, and/or make a contribution to help support CCHCC’s ongoing advocacy and organizing efforts, as well as our enrollment work.

We thank you for your commitment, and for your ongoing support and involvement!


Claudia Lennhoff
Executive Director
Champaign County Health Care Consumers