Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



New direct access health care program begins enrolling Cook County residents

Monday, April 17, 2017
Daily Northwestern
by Zoe Miller

Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Cook+County+commissioner+Bridget+Gainer+speaks+at+a+meeting+in+2012.+Gainer+supported+a+new+direct+health+care+program+geared+toward+uninsured+residents.

Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Cook County commissioner Bridget Gainer speaks at a meeting in 2012. Gainer supported a new direct health care program geared toward uninsured residents.

Zoe Miller, Reporter
April 17, 2017

The direct access health care program, which was unanimously approved as an ordinance by Cook County commissioners in September, began in March. A direct access program is a type of health care program that establishes a network of centers that enrollees can use without paying initial fees.

The program was first proposed to the county by Healthy Communities Cook County, a group of healthcare organizations that advocates for improved healthcare access for uninsured residents. Cook County commissioners Bridget Gainer, Jesus Garcia and Robert Steele supported the program.

The program was established to help uninsured, low-income residents of Cook County obtain more affordable care, said Micaela Vargas, Gainer’s chief of staff. Often, she said, uninsured, low-income residents live in the U.S. without documentation and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable Care Act — an Obama-era bill that aimed to expand American healthcare.

Paradoxically, when uninsured people avoid health care because of cost, they end up being forced to pay more in the form of hospital visits, which are more expensive than other types of care, Vargas said.

Even if patients have no insurance, the Cook County health and hospital system is required to take in all patients in its emergency rooms, Vargas said. She added that emergency room services are often the most expensive care options.

“A lot of times, if you don’t have insurance, you’ll kind of wait and wait until your health deteriorates enough that you just have to go into the emergency room,” Vargas said.

Cook County Health and Hospitals System hospitals and clinics all offer free care under the program. The program also assigns a primary care provider and a list of available medical resources.

In addition, the program coordinates medical care so people can take advantage of care that’s already available to them. It also tracks a patient’s medical history and assigns staff to follow up with them afterward.

“People don’t know how to get the care that they need,” said Phoebe Flaherty, a member of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, an organization that helped petition the County to institute the program.

Organizing clients’ medical care, Flaherty said, could help them obtain care they would not otherwise receive and minimize costs.

“They’re being told that they’re not eligible for financial assistance when they in fact are,” Flaherty said. “People have access to resources, theoretically, but are not physically able to actually access those resources.”

In the future, Vargas said officials hope to further expand the program. She said the current iteration of the program is the first of several phases that have been planned.

Email: zoemiller@u.northwestern.edu



Recent Headlines

Special prosecutor billed Cook County nearly 50K for Van Dyke murder case
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board votes in favor of $4 million settlement in Stroger medical malpractice case
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Judge bucks Cook County law, says boys as young as 10 can be locked up
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Village of Northbrook Opts Back In to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance
Monday, October 15, 2018
National Law Review

Chicago health system to add 240+ jobs
Monday, October 15, 2018
Becker's Hospital Review

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim
Friday, October 12, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County health system to add jobs
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

No layoffs or tax hike in mayoral hopeful Preckwinkle’s proposed county budget
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

'Inclusionary' housing ordinance rewrite advances
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Evanston Now

Faced with tight budgets, more Illinois counties merge clerk, recorder offices
Monday, October 08, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Class action: Hundreds of Cook Sheriff officer suspensions invalid, because State's Attorney not involved
Friday, October 05, 2018
Cook County Record

One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Game of thrones? Watchdog sees ‘scheme to defraud’ in Pritzker toilet tax break
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Board approves $31M election equipment contract despite lawsuit; $11M to settle 2 malpractice lawsuits
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County approves new election equipment contract, despite rival firm’s lawsuit
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP