Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of the most often asked questions. If you do not find your answer here contact the administrative office.
I lost my I.D. Card, how do I get a replacement card?
Call or write Access to care requesting a new card along with a $5.00 check or money order. The $5.00 payment is required for a replacement card as stated in the “Your Guide to Access to Care”.
I do not live in the covered area. Are there other programs in other places?
If you reside outside the Access to Care coverage area, please check with your local department of public health about possible coverage.
If you live in DuPage County, contact Access DuPage at 630-510-8720. If you live in the Chicago area, contact the Gilead Center at 312-906-6024. The Gilead Center is a referral source for identifying affordable health care for the uninsured. If you are seeking primary care and live in Cook County you may contact Stroger Hospital at 312-864-6420.
How do I apply for this program?
There are several ways to apply.
1. Print an application form off the web site, follow the instructions, enclose all necessary documents and mail it to the address on the application form.
2. Register at a local registration site You must call the registration site for an appointment and bring proof of address and proof of income. By applying at a site, you will receive a copy of your application.
3. If you cannot go to an intake site, call 708-531-0680 and request an application be mailed to you. When received, follow the instructions and enclose the necessary documents.
I heard that you have to be working to be eligible for Access to Care. Is this true?
No, if you have no income and are living with someone rent-free, you must include a letter of room and board from that individual.
Will Access to Care cover vision and dental care?
Access to Care is a PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROGRAM. The program covers visits to your Access to Care physician, basic lab and x-ray and some prescription medications ONLY. Program physicians are internists and family physicians.
I recently went to the emergency room? Will Access to Care cover this bill?
No, the program does not cover emergency room visits, specialty care or visits to doctors other than your assigned Access to Care Doctor.
I need to see a specialist. How do I make an appointment?
Your Access to Care physician must complete a referral form and fax it to the administrative office. An appointment will be arranged at either Stroger Hospital or Oak Forest Hospital. The hospital will notify you directly of the date and time of the appointment. These facilities ask for payment based upon income. Access to Care does NOT cover specialty care.
Are flu shots and immunizations available from my Access to Care doctor?
No. Access to Care does cover a pneumonia shot for high-risk patients, but not flu shots.
Does an individual have the choice to choose a Doctor from a list given by Access to Care?
Once an application is processed, the individual will be assigned to the nearest participating physician. Every attempt is made to match people to physician practices where someone speaks the patient’s language. If you have a personal physician and want to know if he/she is a participating physician, simply ask the doctor.
Where do I go for lab tests and x-rays?
All patients receive a copy of "Your Guide to Access to Care" Be sure to read this thoroughly. There are listings of contracted lab drawing sites and hospital radiology departments. You pay $5 at the time. Not all lab tests or radiology procedures are covered. The program will not cover MRI’s, CT Scans or ultrasounds. You can only go to the places listed in “Your Guide to Access to Care” for covered lab and x-ray procedures, otherwise you will be responsible for payment.
Does Access to Care cover maternity?
No. A pregnant woman would be eligible for the Moms and Babies program in FamilyCare. FamilyCare is a program for low income families with All Kids eligible children.
Can I enroll my 9 and 10 year old in the program?
In most cases no. The children (under age 18) are eligible for the All Kids Program through the State of Illinois. This is a complete insurance package covering services Access to Care does not. You must apply to All Kids for your children.
If I am unhappy with my doctor, can I change doctors?
You must send a letter requesting a change of doctors and include the reason for the change. Access to Care will do its best to accommodate your wishes, however, you may have to go further to see a physician.
Why does the program only cover a certain portion of Chicago, and not the entire City?
The Cook County Board of Commissioners granted the program special funding to cover an area in Chicago that was unserved or underserved by other entities. After research it was determined that the northwestern portion of the City fit those parameters. On April 1, 2005 the program launched as a pilot in this area of Chicago. If you live in the city, outside of the covered area, please refer to the FAQ “I do not live in the covered area. Are there other program in other places?”.
What can I do to help Access to Care?
Access to care always needs volunteers to help put up flyers and help with our fundraising event each year. You can also contact your place of worship to tell them about the program. If you know of any groups that would be interested in learning more an Access to Care representative can give a presentation. To schedule a presentation or to volunteer click here.