Last updated: August 20, 2021

What do I do if I am sick? 

  • If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. 
  • If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, you can call or email the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or
  • Keep track of your symptoms.
  • If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately. 

Here is more information on what to do if you are sick. 

You can find IDPH testing locations here.  

You can find more free testing locations in Chicago here.

Will I have to pay for COVID-19 testing or treatment?

If you do not have health insurance:  

  • COVID-19 testing is covered for all uninsured Illinois residents regardless of citizenship and immigration status through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).  
  • Your medical provider should help you apply for Medicaid if you are uninsured and need treatment for COVID-19 or any other serious medical condition.  
  • COVID-19 treatment is covered by Emergency Medicaid for immigrants who are income eligible but not otherwise eligible for Medicaid due to immigration status. 
  • If you receive bills from a provider asking you to pay for COVID-19 tests or treatment, you should call the provider. Tell them that you do not have insurance and ask if they can get reimbursed through Medicaid or the state or federal government so that you do not have to pay. 
  • There may be assistance available through the hospital’s charity care assistance if there is no other source that is paying for your hospital bill. 

If you have Medicaid coverage:  

If you have Marketplace or Private Health Insurance:  

  • Contact your health insurance provider to learn about what they cover. 
  • You can get a COVID-19 test for no cost at an IDPH testing location or a City of Chicago testing location.  
  • If you get a COVID-19 test at a hospital or clinic instead of an IDPH testing location, your test will still be covered. However, you or your insurance may have to pay for some parts of your visit, like getting your blood drawn. 
  • If you need COVID-19 treatment and cannot afford your hospital bills, there may be assistance through your health insurance provider, or the hospital might be able to apply for Medicaid or Emergency Medicaid for you. You may also be able to apply for the hospital’s charity care assistance. 

Need More Help?

If you have other questions, you can contact the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or