CareLink Program

CareLink is a free program that helps Cook County residents cover the cost of care at any Cook County Health facility. CareLink discounts the cost of the following services: primary care visits, specialty doctor visits, clinic visits, lab tests, hospital stays and emergency services.

Anyone living in Cook County may apply for financial help. They may also receive help applying for other state and federal medical programs. Patients must meet certain eligibility guidelines to qualify. Those who qualify for the program can receive care at Cook County Health with up to 100% discount on the cost of care. 


Anyone 19-64 years* of age living in Cook County without insurance may apply for CareLink. A person’s immigration status will not stop them from qualifying for the program. Eligibility is based on gross income, family size, and proof of Cook County residency. Patients must have lived in Cook County for at least 30 days prior to applying.

Children 18 years old and younger do not qualify for CareLink. Children who need insurance should apply for All Kids. Anyone that has or is eligible for 医疗补助 does not qualify for CareLink. Anyone that has insurance through their job or spouse’s job does not qualify. Anyone who cannot afford health insurance through their job may qualify for CareLink or other financial help.

Family Size Monthly Income Standard
100% Discount
Monthly Income Standard
50% Discount

* Exceptions on age may apply on a case-by-case basis. Meet with a financial counselor to see if you are eligible.

Check to see if you are Cook County Resident  

How to Apply

To sign up for CareLink, you will need to go into one of the Cook County Health (CCH) sites to meet with a Financial Counselor. Please check the list of CCH sites below to see office hours and if an appointment is needed. 

It is recommended that Patients signing up for CareLink complete the application (located at the bottom of this page), before going in to see a Financial Counselor. If not, they can complete the application with the Financial Counselor. Patients will be asked to give basic information about the number of people in their family, their income, and their birthdates. These are just some examples of acceptable documents them to support the information they are giving. 


• Valid passport
• Green card
• Birth certificate
• Photo ID


• Paycheck stubs
• Signed letter from job with contact information
• Paid in cash form

Proof of Cook County Address

• Utility bill i.e., gas, electric, water
• Telephone bill
• Bank Statement
• Letter from a church



Room & Board Financial Assistance Statement


Paid in Cash


Self-Attestation Letter of Insurance


Financial Assistance Applications


Please keep in mind, people who qualify for 医疗补助 or other public healthcare programs cannot sign up for CareLink. Our financial counselors can help you sign up for these programs. CCH helps and values all cultures and backgrounds. We have interpreter services available in more than one hundred languages. For more information about CareLink and how to sign up, please call (866) 223-2817.  

What Happens
After Applying

After meeting with a financial counselor, you will be notified if you have been approved for CareLink. If approved, you will receive a letter detailing dates of eligibilitydiscounted amount (30% discount 50% discount or 100% discount). The letter will also tell you when you need to re-apply.  

Customer Service Information

Call (866) 223-2817
Monday through Friday, 8:00am -6:00pm 
Saturday 8:00am – 4:00pm

For in-person assistance please check the list of CCH sites below to see office hours and to schedule an appointment:

History of Program

CareLink started in September 2016 when ordinance 16-4392 was passed. This ordinance was created due to the high number of uninsured and underinsured people in Cook County. This ordinance gave Cook County Health the power to create a program to guarantee uninsured residents of Cook County have access to quality health care. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

CareLink is 仅有的 accepted by providers at CCH facilities.

To schedule an appointment with a Cook County Health physician, please call 312-864-0200

Once you are approved for CareLink, it is documented in the CCH system. When you make your appointment, let the scheduler know that you have CareLink. Also, when you arrive for the appointment, present your CareLink card to the registrar. 

CareLink will discount any 医疗的 services provided at a CCH facility. CareLink also covers limited dental and vision (excludes glasses) services, however, prescriptions are not covered. The pharmacy at CCH will fill any CCH prescription for $4 per prescription up to $20. 

Once you receive a bill for services, you can make your payment. You may either pay online, by phone (844) 598-9841, by mail or by making an in-person payment at one of our walk-in locations listed below. We currently accept payments online, in cash, check or money order. Please make any checks or money orders payable to Cook County Health. 

Yes, participants must reapply for CareLink annually or it will expire.

The eligibility period is effective for up to 12 months from the initial approval. Renewal should happen in the 12 month. 

Yes, CCH has Financial Counselors at each location who can help you reapply for CareLink.

You will need the same documents you presented when you initially signed up for CareLink.


  • 有效护照
  • 绿卡
  • 出生证明
  • 照片身份证


  • 薪水存根
  • Signed letter from job with contact information
  • 以现金形式支付

Proof of Cook County Address

  • 公用事业账单,即煤气、电、水
  • 电话单
  • 银行对帐单
  • 来自教会的信

You can apply before being seen at a Cook County Health (CCH) location or after you have been seen at a CCH facility.

Individuals with certain private/employer sponsored insurance coverage may be eligible for CareLink if CCH is an in-network provider with their Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or if the individual has a PPO or traditional “fee-for-service.” These individuals are considered “underinsured” and may apply for CareLink to receive a partial discount on total out-of-pocket costs, excluding co-pays, which are not covered by the individual’s private insurance (e.g., annual deductible or co-insurance). Individuals may also be considered underinsured if they are enrolled in a limited-benefit plan.

Eligibility is determined during your meeting with the Financial Counselor.

If you lose your approval letter, you can get a copy by going to see any Financial Counselor.

No, CareLink is not a government program.

CareLink is a payer of last resort. Financial Counselors must explore potential eligibility for other funding program sources (e.g., Medicaid, etc.) prior to certifying individuals for eligibility. If an individual is eligible for another financial assistance program, the individual will be provided with appropriate application assistance prior to being assessed for CareLink eligibility.

A family, for purposes of determining eligibility, consists of a person living alone or persons living together where one or more individuals have financial responsibility for the support of the others.

Currently, applications for CareLink must be completed in person with a Financial Counselor.

Yes, CCH has Financial Counselors at each location who can help you apply for CareLink and other forms of financial assistance.

CareLink covers limited dental and vision (excludes glasses) services however, prescriptions are not covered. The pharmacy at CCH will fill any CCH prescription for $4 per prescription up to $20.

Transportation is provided to and from CCH medical appointments. To schedule transportation call 312-864-0200.

The goal of the service is to give you the support needed to improve their health. The care coordinator is a person who helps the patient work toward being healthy through frequent clinic visits and phone calls with the patient, their caregivers, and their doctors. They help to make healthcare easier to manage by doing the following:

  • Keeping track of the patient’s illnesses and medications
  • Helping the patient to plan their doctor visits
  • Helping the patient to set healthcare goals

No, you do not have to be a United States citizen, but you must be a resident of Cook County for at least 30 days prior to applying to CareLink.

Yes, your spouse can apply on your behalf if they have all the required documentation.

No, you are not eligible for CareLink if you are in the country on a Visiting Visa B2.