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.

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



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

Elevating Evanston Youth
Monday, February 24, 2020
Northwestern

$14 million settlement proposed in lawsuit over Cook County inmates masturbating in front of female public defenders
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

The correct response to violent crime? Believe it or not, we're seeing it in Cook County.
Friday, February 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

For The First Time In More Than A Decade, The Waitlist For Suburban Public Housing Is Opening
Friday, February 21, 2020
WBEZ News

Flashback: Cook County Hospital was home to big egos, surgical drama and stalwarts who found purpose in treating the poor
Friday, February 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Can courts do more to force FOID card violators to give up their guns?
Monday, February 17, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Keep the Cook County Health board independent
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Park Ridge looks to move 911 dispatching services to Cook County call center
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A report’s flaws suggest: Cook County bail reforms may have endangered the public
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Offering rehab instead of jail time, ‘Drug Court’ gives some a second chance
Thursday, February 13, 2020
WGN News

Preckwinkle aide barred from her offices after sexual harassment incident
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

New outreach group combating Cook County’s opioid crisis by offering treatment, hope
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
WGN News

Evanston Officials Eye County Grant for Construction of New Animal Shelter
Monday, February 10, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

CTA to spend $38 million studying Red Line extension
Monday, February 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune

In Illinois — the Prairie State — little prairie land remains. But work is being done to save what’s left in Cook County and restore more.
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Brookfield Zoo chief heads for the exits
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Suspect in weekend killing of Cook County inmate accused of beating another detainee in November attack captured on video
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Tribune

MacArthur grants Cook County another $2.5 million for criminal justice reform
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Property tax hikes won’t be that bad, new report says
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

MacArthur Foundation donates $2.5 million to Cook County Criminal Courts
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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