Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC)
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CCHCC’s Medicare Advocacy Work Gains National Attention!

Dear friend,

I am so proud to tell you this story about the incredible advocacy work by CCHCC’s Jen Tayabji, which recently resulted in a National Public Radio (NPR) story and for which Jen is being recognized with an award! Jen’s work resulted in helping about 900 area Medicare beneficiaries.
Jen is CCHCC’s Medicare Task Force Organizer, and also the Coordinator of our Medicare 100/Plus Program. She recently worked with Medicare Task Force members who faced a serious crisis of access to care due to a change in WellCare’s provider network.
Here is what happened:
Since early December, Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) and the Medicare Task Force have been tirelessly working to advocate for area Medicare beneficiaries with WellCare Medicare Advantage plans. These members found out that Christie Clinic would no longer be in-network for WellCare in 2016 and Christie Clinic was really the only outpatient provider in our area that had accepted WellCare for primary and specialty care. Most plan members did not have enough notice (or did not receive their notice in time) to change their insurance plan before the Medicare Open Enrollment Period ended December 7, 2015. This left about 900 Medicare beneficiaries in a three-county area without access to their doctors in January.
Thanks to Medicare Task Force members like Eliza Catchings, Jen was able to get all the necessary documentation on what was happening to WellCare members, and she reached out to our colleagues at AgeOptions (an amazing organization based in Chicago). Together, CCHCC and AgeOptions were able demonstrate to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) the severity of the WellCare network inadequacy, and advocate for the affected Meicare beneficiaries.
As a result of this collaborative advocacy, CMS granted a rare Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to all 900 of the affected members with those WellCare Advantage plans, allowing them to switch plans if they want to, in order to keep their doctors! We believe that this is the first case of CMS granting an SEP in the state of Illinois.
CCHCC’s Jen Tayabji and Medicare Task Force on NPR!
This story captured the attention of Kaiser Health News and NPR.
Check out the NPR article
Make Medicare Work Coalition to recognize CCHCC’s Jen Tayabji!
In recognition of Jen Tayabji’s advocacy for our Medicare clients, Jen will be recognized on April 11, 2016, by the Make Medicare Work Coalition with the Outstanding Advocate Award! Way to go, Jen!
Our thanks, because we couldn’t do this alone!
We want to thank all of our Medicare clients who brought this issue to our attention when the letters first went out and who were willing to share their stories to help create this important victory for Medicare beneficiaries in our area, and for setting new precedents for network adequacy for Medicare advantage plans nationwide.
We also want to thank AgeOptions for their advocacy, collaboration and support. AgeOptions helps older adults in suburban Cook County live their lives to the fullest by empowering them with information and resources. They regularly partner with a network of other nonprofit community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers.
CCHCC is here to help!
If you or someone you know needs assistance with Medicare, or with gaining or navigating other types of health insurance, please call us at (217) 352-6533. We can help!
Thank you for all your support!

Champaign County Health Care Consumers
Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC)
44 East Main Street, Suite 208, Champaign, IL 61820 (map)

(217) 352-6533

Copyright © 2016 Champaign County Health Care Consumers, All rights reserved.

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