An Illinois medical card entitles the cardholder to a range of government-funded medical benefits. These benefits can include GP visits, hospitalization, mental health services, and prescription medications.
In order to get a medical card, you must first be assessed by a doctor who will confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria.
There are a number of benefits of having a medical card, including improved access to medical care, free or reduced-cost GP visits, free hospitalization, and free prescription medications.
If you are considering getting a medical card, then read on to learn about the 7 prominent benefits that you can enjoy! Let’s discuss its benefits:
1. Free GP visits:
A medical card entitles you to free GP visits up to every 6 months. If you visit your GP more often than this, then you will have to pay for your visit at full cost (this can be expensive). However, there are some exceptions where people with a serious illness may be eligible for more frequent visits without paying extra charges (e.g. if they have cancer).
2. Reduced cost of prescription medications:
Free prescription medications are one of the most popular benefits of having a medical card. Depending on which type of medication you need, your doctor may prescribe it at no cost or with a small co-payment (a fixed payment). Some drugs may require an upfront payment before receiving your prescription — in this case, your doctor will write out two prescriptions: one for the medicine itself and another for the co-payment required by your insurer or pharmacist.
3. Free hospitalization:
One of the most important benefits of having a medical card is that it entitles you to free or reduced-cost hospitalization. If you’re hospitalized for any reason (for example due to illness or injury), then your medical card will cover all costs associated with your stay at the hospital (including accommodation). This means that there won’t be any out-of-pocket expenses for you!
4. Better access to medical care:
If you have a long-term illness or disability that means that your mobility is limited, then having a medical card will mean that you will be able to access the care that you need more easily. This could include access to specialist treatment or ongoing treatment for chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes. In some cases, it may also allow for easier access to emergency treatment if something goes wrong with your health unexpectedly.
5. Reduced cost of dental treatment:
Dental care can be incredibly expensive, especially when it comes to things like crowns and implants. However, if you have a medical card, then you will be eligible for reduced-cost dental treatment under the Free Treatment Scheme (FTS). This means that you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket when receiving treatment at the dentist’s office!
6. Reduced cost of vision care:
A lot of people do not realize that they can get their vision care subsidized through the government if they hold a medical card. If your eyesight is poor enough and this affects your ability to work or study then it may be worth getting an eye test carried out. You may be eligible for glasses or contact lenses through the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF). These are provided at heavily discounted rates compared with what would otherwise have been paid for them privately.
7. Reduced cost of hearing care:
If you suffer from a hearing impairment, then the government may subsidize your hearing aids and other related services. In order to qualify for this benefit, you must first be assessed by a qualified audiologist or another healthcare professional who will confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria.
The benefits of having an Illinois medical card are numerous and encompass all aspects of life. However, it can be challenging to apply for a medical card if you need to know what you need to do.