Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Low-cost health care is here, but no one seems to know it

Monday, August 15, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by LORI RACKL Health Reporter

Despite numbness in her foot and a lump growing on her neck, Maryann Holland, 50, didn't go to the doctor.

Holland, like one in seven Illinois residents, had no health insurance. She hadn't been to a doctor in nearly two decades.

"It just cost too much money," said the Melrose Park waitress.

Holland finally found a doctor she could afford earlier this year thanks to Access to Care, a low-cost medical program for the uninsured.

Access to Care recently expanded beyond the suburbs to cover low-income residents on the Northwest Side of Chicago. But the program is struggling to catch on in the city -- and not because of lack of need for affordable health care, said Access to Care spokeswoman Katie Barnickel.


"They just don't know about us," Barnickel said. "We have a 16-year track record in the suburbs and no track record in the city. It's hard to get the word out."

$50 for family to enroll


The Cook County Board this year put up the money to enroll 1,100 people in this underserved part of Chicago, but only 100 or so have taken advantage of the offer. About 14,200 suburbanites get low-cost health care through Access to Care.

Here's how the program works: Eligible, low-income residents pay a small annual enrollment fee that ranges from $20 for a single adult to $50 for a family of three or more. Patients can tap in to a network of nearly 700 participating doctors for primary health care, which costs $5 a visit.

There's a nominal charge for X-rays and lab tests, and prescription drugs can be had for $10 to $30. Hospitalization and specialty care from a cardiologist or orthopedist, for example, aren't covered by the program.

The goal of Access to Care is to provide basic health care for people who find themselves in the ever-widening gap between eligibility for public health programs and the ability to afford private insurance.

'We're here'


"If I'd known about this earlier, I would've gone to the doctor a lot sooner," said Holland, who had the pre-cancerous lump in her neck removed over the summer.

Her new doctor also put her on asthma medication and diagnosed the arthritis in her knee. And the numbness in her foot has gone away.

"I feel a lot better," she said.

Barnickel is convinced plenty of people in Chicago could benefit from Access to Care just as Holland did.

"We know they're out there," she said. "Now how do we make them know we're here?"


HOW TO ENROLL IN ACCESS TO CARE

For eligibility, you must:

*Live in suburban Cook County or the Northwest Side of Chicago, west of Pulaski Road and north of North Avenue.

*Have an income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. That translates into $38,700 for a family of four and $19,000 for a single adult, for example.

*Have no health insurance and be ineligible for Medicaid or Medicare.


You can apply for enrollment in person or via mail.

Call Access to Care at (708) 531-0680.

 




Recent Headlines

State to implement additional mitigation measures in suburban Cook County
Monday, October 26, 2020
Cook County Department of Public Health

State Public Health Officials Announce COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations to Take Effect in Regions 4 and 10 on October 28, 2020
Monday, October 26, 2020
Illinois Dept. of Public Health

NU will not host polling locations this Election Day
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Daily Northwestern

11 more chief judge’s employees, 3 more juvenile detention residents test positive for COVID-19
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: State reports 4,062 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 24 additional deaths Sunday
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Chicago Tribune

COVID-19 in Illinois: 4,062 New Cases, 24 Additional Deaths
Sunday, October 25, 2020
WTTW News

Cook County opens voucher waiting list for first time in 20 years
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Chicago Crusader

Land of tears: ‘Desperate’ Illinois health care workers ‘seeing history repeat itself’
Friday, October 23, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Court orders Dorothy Brown to halt planned updates to ‘problematic’ new case management system
Friday, October 23, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Oct. 23 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Friday, October 23, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Half of Illinois’ Counties Now at Warning Level for COVID-19
Friday, October 23, 2020
WTTW News

Budget-making this year is all kinds of ugly
Friday, October 23, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

How cannabis is easing budget pain at city and county
Friday, October 23, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

New York hospital executive officially appointed as next Cook County Health leader, vows to be ‘fiscally, financially resilient’
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Meet the CEO who'll run Cook County Health
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Here’s Why Suburban Cook County Lags In Processing Vote-By-Mail Ballots
Thursday, October 22, 2020
WBEZ News

Meet the New Yorker Tasked With Rescuing Cook County’s Public Health System
Thursday, October 22, 2020
WBEZ News

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposes raising Forest Preserves budget next year with rainy day funds
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Mailing it in? Sluggish processing of suburban Cook County ballots making it more like vote-by-snail
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Delays leave suburban Cook voters wondering if their ballots will count
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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