Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County to start program to help uninsured get health care

Cook County to start program to help uninsured get health care

The Cook County Board approved an ordinance Wednesday to start a program to help those without health insurance get regular care so they don't wind up in the emergency room.

The program will allow uninsured Cook County residents earning up to twice the federal poverty level — in other words, $48,600 a year for a family of four — to get primary care physicians within the Cook County Health and Hospitals System who could also refer them to specialists within the system. The program is expected to help nearly 40,000 people in 2017.

Patients will have access to the system's two acute care hospitals, Stroger Hospital and Provident Hospital, and more than a dozen clinics...

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