Answers to your questions

Frequently Asked Questions


The following is a list of the most often asked questions. If you do not find your answer here please contact the administrative office.

I lost my I.D. Card, how do I get a replacement card?
Write or call 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 or township office to learn what services are available. If you live in DuPage County, contact Access DuPage at 630-510-8720. If you are low-income and seeking primary care and live in Cook County you may be eligible for CountyCare, call 1-855-444-1661.

How do I apply for this program?
There are several ways to apply.

  1. Print an application 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 or support. 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?
Access to Care does NOT cover specialty care. If you need specialty care your Access to Care physician must complete a referral form, which is available on this web site, and fax it to the administrative office at 708-531-0686. 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.

Are flu shots and immunizations available from my Access to Care doctor?
Yes. Vaccinations for Flu and Pneumonia are covered by Access to Care at zero cost. These are the ONLY vaccinations covered by the program. You do not need a prescription to request these vaccinations, however Flu and Pneumonia vaccines must be provided by your local pharmacy. They
will not be covered if administered at your physician’s office.

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, please call the Access to Care office directly.

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 of your visit. 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 child in the program?
No. 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 either not served or under-served 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 programs 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 please email