Last updated: July 28, 2023

If you do not have health insurance, programs are available to help you.

Health Insurance Marketplace

You can visit to sign up for insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you need help enrolling, you can call the Northwestern Medicine Health Resources Hotline at 312.926.7440 (TTY 711).

Normally, you can only sign up for these plans in November and December. You may be able to enroll in health insurance at other times if you have certain “life events,” such as:

  • Losing health insurance coverage
  • Moving
  • Getting married
  • Having a baby
  • Adopting a child

In these cases, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. This means that you can enroll in a plan up to 60 days before or 60 days after the “life event.”

You will pay a monthly fee, called a premium, for insurance. You may pay a lower premium depending on your income.

You will pay a monthly fee, called a premium, for insurance. You may pay a lower premium depending on your income.

You may also qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a type of health insurance for people with low income. The government provides Medicaid. If you qualify, the website will redirect you to apply for it.

Northwestern Medicine accepts these Health Insurance Marketplace plans:

  • BlueChoice Preferred PPO®
  • Blue Precision HMOSM
  • Cigna Plus with Northwestern Medicine
  • Cigna Plus With Northwestern Medicine

Not all primary care physicians are in-network with these plans. Check with your physician if necessary.


Medicaid is a health insurance program available to some people based on income.

To apply for Medicaid, you have three options:

  • Call the Northwestern Medicine Financial Counseling Department at 800.423.0523 (TTY: 711).
  • Apply online at
  • Call the Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE) Hotline at 800.843.6154.

If you qualify for Medicaid, you will need to choose a Medicaid managed care plan. Northwestern Medicine is in-network with these Medicaid managed care plans:

  • Blue Cross Community Health Plan
  • Meridian Health Plan
  • CountyCare (Cook County residents only)

If you are starting Medicaid: A few weeks after you apply, you should get a letter that explains how to choose a Medicaid managed care plan.

  • If you do not choose a plan by the date in the letter, the government will automatically assign you to a plan.
  • If this happens, you may be assigned to a plan that Northwestern Medicine does not accept.
  • To choose a Medicaid managed care plan or make changes to a plan that was automatically assigned, call Illinois Client Enrollment Services at 877.912.8880.

If you are enrolled in Medicaid: You need to fill out a form every year to show you are still eligible. This is called redetermination.

  • If you do not fill out this form, the government will end your Medicaid coverage. You will need to apply again.
  • The government usually mails reminders to update the form.
  • To ensure you keep your Medicaid coverage, call Illinois Client Enrollment Services at 877.912.8880.

Northwestern Medicine Financial Assistance Program

If you cannot pay your medical bills, you may be able to get free or discounted care through the Northwestern Medicine Financial Assistance Program. You may qualify for this program even if you have health insurance.

To apply for this program, you will need paperwork that shows your and your household’s financial situation. This includes your income and certain items you own.

For more information:


Paying for Medication

Your health insurance plan may not cover the full cost of your medications. The Northwestern Medicine Financial Assistance Program does not cover medications.

The following programs may help you pay for your medications. Ask about coupons or patient assistance programs to lower your medication price.

Good Rx

Needy Meds

Medicine Assistance Tool

RX Assist

You can also ask your pharmacist if they know of any co-payment assistance cards, free trial cards or other financial assistance options for your medications.