Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Health Benefits for Workers with Disabilities?

Many individuals with disabilities would like to work but are afraid of losing medical benefits. With the HBWD program, working individuals can continue to receive medical benefits as they move into the first job or a better job.

How is my premium calculated?

Your premium is based on the amount of earned and unearned income you receive. Persons with higher income pay a higher monthly premium. If your income changes, your premium may change. (Premium Chart)

Now that my case is approved, what do I do?

Read your approval notices carefully and be sure you understand them. Your first monthly premium is due and must be paid to get your medical ID card. If you do not pay the premium by the due date, your case will be canceled and you will have to reapply. If you have any questions, call the HBWD unit. (1-800-226-0768)

How do I get my medical card?

To get your first medical card, you must pay the first monthly premium. Your approval notice shows how much your premium is and how to pay the premium. Premiums are due by the 20th of each month. If you have any questions, call the HBWD unit 1-800-226-0768.

How long does it take to get my medical card?

When you first start the program you should get your card in about 14 days after we receive your first premium payment. After you are in the program you should get your card in the first part of each month. If you need a medical card right away, or if you don't get your card within 14 days of mailing your premium contact the HBWD unit 1-800-226-0768.

Do I have to pay the premium each month?

You must pay your premium each month. The payment can be made with an automatic charge to your debit card, MasterCard or VISA credit card, or you can send a money order, cashier’s check or personal check each month. A personal check cannot be used to pay the first month’s premium. We will send you a notice each month to remind you that the premium is due by the 20th.

What if I do not pay the monthly premium?

If you do not pay the monthly premium, you will not receive a medical card and your case will be canceled. If you reapply for HBWD benefits, you will have to pay the first month plus any unpaid premiums before you will get another medical card.

What is covered by the HBWD medical card?

The HBWD medical card provides the full range of medical benefits.

How do I find medical services?

Any medical provider enrolled with the Illinois Medical Assistance Program can provide services to you. The HBWD hotline at 1-800-226-0768 can provide the names of enrolled providers. You must contact the provider to confirm they are accepting new patients.

How do I use my medical card?

Be sure your provider accepts the Medi Plan card. Show your medical card, your Medicare card and any other health insurance cards to your provider when you arrive. Your provider will copy any needed information and will bill your other insurance and HFS.

Can the doctor charge me?

Your doctor, pharmacist or other medical practitioner may charge you a co-pay for each visit or prescription. The medical provider may also charge you for services not covered by the medical card. Current Medicaid Co-Pays

How do I get HBWD coverage for past months or old bills?

If you were working and had unpaid medical bills from months before your case was approved, you can pay premiums to get a medical card for up to three months before the month of your application. Your approval letter explains which months can be covered under HBWD and how much it will cost. You have only 90 days from the date of your approval letter to pay the premium for these prior months.

What changes do I need to report?

Contact the HBWD unit if you:

  1. Begin working many more hours.

  2. Begin working many fewer hours.

  3. Lose your job.

  4. Get another job.

  5. Move.

  6. Start or stop receiving Social Security.

  7. Start or stop receiving SSI.

  8. Start or stop receiving other benefits.

  9. If you marry, or your spouse moves in or out of your home.


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