I called my former doctor's office and asked them if they accepted Vetcare. They called me back and indicated they do not accept "Vetcare". Curious. So when I called "Illinois Health Connect" to find a way to get a "Primary Care Physician" list, I was referred to the Illinois Health Connect website ( https://www.illinoishealthconnect.com ). Interestingly, this is the Medicaid website for the State of Illinois. Very curious. So I did a lookup of PCP's and my doctor was actually listed on their site with appropriate PCP Number. So I called my former Doctor's office and informed them of the PCP number that the State of Illinois has assigned to them (and they are now calling them directly to confirm "Vetcare" is the same as Illinois Health Connect").... which by my research... is "Medicaid". So as long as all claims are handled by Illinois Health Connect, I should be good to go (the downside is that it is taking the State of Illinois up to a year to process claims). Also, it has prescription support as well (so I can take prescriptions to Walmart, CVS, Target, or Walgreens).
Incredibly, I am essentially covered by Medicaid (even though I am not covered by Medicaid via Illinois DHS).... and the premium is $40.00 a month.
The various Vet services people are very interested in seeing how I will be treated by Vetcare (as I am the only one they know having been approved by this program). I just pray that my gout / joint issues get the full attention that they need without my needing to push the issue (and that I will have enough of a positive experience that I can recommend Vetcare to the various Vet reps I interact with (so others can apply for said medical coverage as well).
I am just waiting for the other shoe to fall (when Obamacare kicks in January 1st and things change again). There is so much uncertainty on something that we need to plan for (with a decided lack of information considering how close we are to implementation).