No-Cost Health Insurance Coverage Now Available for Eligible Cook County Residents through CountyCare

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthNearly 250,000 low-income, uninsured and underinsured adults in Cook County are now eligible to receive health insurance coverage at no cost through a new Illinois Medicaid program. The program, called CountyCare, provides extensive coverage for doctors’ visits, emergency services, prescriptions, hospitalizations, mammograms, family planning, and many other services.

Through CountyCare, patients who qualify have access to preventive care, which can help avoid costly emergency room visits. Patients choose a primary care site from a network of dozens of Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) area providers located throughout the County, including community health centers and Cook County clinics. The patient is assigned a doctor, nurse, social worker and medical assistant to manage their health care through a new Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model.

“We are honored to be one of only five sites in the country to receive the Illinois Medicaid waiver to provide low-income, uninsured and underinsured adults in Cook County with high quality health care that is convenient and reliable,” said Dr. Ram Raju, Chief Executive Officer of Cook County Health and Hospitals System. CountyCare offers patients more resources to receive preventive care, early detection and coordinated care. In addition, patients can access mental health and substance abuse services, which traditional Illinois Medicaid does not cover.

The CountyCare program was approved under the federal government’s 1115 Medicaid Waiver, which permits CCHHS to early-enroll 115,000 individuals who will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014 through the Affordable Care Act.
To qualify, individuals must:

  • Live in Cook County
  • Be 19-64 years of age without dependents
  • Be a legal immigrant for at least 5 years or be a U.S. citizen
  • Meet income limits ($15,282 of income per year for an individual, or $20,628 for a couple)
  • Not be eligible for Medicaid, Medicare or CHIP
  • Have a Social Security Number or have applied for one

Cook County residents interested in applying should call 312-864-8200 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., or Saturday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. To learn more about the CountyCare program, visit

Comments are closed.