Cook County Officials Announce 70,000 CountyCare Members
Declare Medicaid expansion in Cook County working
CHICAGO – Joined by United States Senator Richard Durbin and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Dr. Ram Raju, CEO, CCH, announced today that 70,000 Cook County residents have health care coverage as a result of CountyCare, an early roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, a Medicaid expansion program for adults. “Under CountyCare, 70,000 previously uninsured Cook County residents now have access to preventive and specialty services, mental health care and prescription drugs,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said. “CountyCare has been an unquestionable success since its inception. As an effort to enroll people into Medicaid and coordinate their care, it showcases what the Affordable Care Act’s impact will be. In addition to those enrolled in CountyCare, tens of thousands more Illinoisans across the state will gain access to Medicaid thanks to the ACA’s expansion of the program, which takes effect this year. I applaud Cook County for bringing affordable healthcare to its residents early and look forward to the rest of Illinois enjoying the same in 2014.” Nearly half of the patients served by the Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCH) are uninsured. Medicaid expansion will provide coverage to many of these patients as well as a coordinated care system designed to keep them healthy. “In Cook County, 70,000 Cook County residents who didn’t have health care coverage a year ago, have it today,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “CountyCare provides quality, coordinated health care to its members who have for far too long relied on emergency rooms to care for illness and disease that are best cared for in a primary care setting,” Joined by newly enrolled CountyCare member, Richard Romanowski, a 62 year old musician and his physician, Dr. Lee Francis, President & CEO, Erie Family Health Center, Raju pointed to how Medicaid expansion has changed the lives of everyday people. “For decades, Medicaid has been provided to moms and children, the elderly and disabled. That left a whole population of low-income adults – people like Mr. Romanowski – without care – to fend for themselves. They were faced with decisions to use emergency departments like ours – to refill their diabetes meds or treat their sore throats or worse yet, not use them because they couldn’t afford to pay,” said Raju. CountyCare meets the needs of its members through a robust network that includes 138 primary care sites including CCH facilities, all Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in Cook County, as well as 34 hospitals including five major academic medical centers. Prescriptions can be picked up from local neighborhood pharmacies. The CountyCare network covers all corners of Cook County and includes clinics and hospitals, large and small. The extensive network allows CountyCare members the ability to access care close to their home, and within a network of care utilized by their primary care provider Mr. Romanowski receives his primary care through Erie Family Health Center. “Because Richard now has seamless access to coordinated primary and specialty care and medications, he is healthier than he was a year ago. As his physician, I can’t begin to tell you what a positive difference CountyCare has made in his life and the lives of so many others,” said Dr. Lee Francis, President & CEO, Erie Family Health Center.
About CountyCare To qualify for CountyCare, applicants must live in Cook County, be 19-64 years of age without dependents at home, have a Social Security number and be a legal immigrant for at least 5 years or a U.S. citizen. Yearly income must be below $15,282 for an individual or $20,628 per couple. Applicants must not be receiving or eligible for Medicaid, Medicare or CHIP. Learn more about CountyCare by calling 312.864.8200 or visit www.CountyCare.com. Once a CountyCare member, members receive covered services at no cost to them. Covered services include prescription drugs, regular and specialty visits within a broad network of doctors, hospitals, laboratory and x-ray services, mammograms, mental health treatment, public transportation, and other services.