Frequently Asked Questions

Are your providers board certified?


Yes. Our practitioners at Greater Elgin Family Care Center are fully credentialed and licensed by the State of Illinois. All providers are board certified or board eligible in their specialty.

Can an adult, other than parents/legal guardian of a child, bring the child in for their medical visit?

The parent or legal guardian must be present at the first visit to authorize treatment. However, at subsequent visits an adult who is not a parent or legal guardian can bring the child in for a medical visit IF and ONLY IF they have a note signed by the parent/legal guardian authorizing them to bring the child for medical treatment. GEFCC will verify that the signature on the note belongs to a parent/legal guardian before the child can be seen by a provider.

Can I make an appointment for someone else?

Yes, you can make an appointment for anyone. However, you can only get information on an appointment for yourself, unless you are a parent getting information on your child’s appointment.

Can I see a provider today?

Yes, if you do not have an appointment and need to see a Provider, you have a few options. First, if you are a current patient you may call for a same-day appointment. The call center opens at 7:00 a.m. ready to assist you. Each day, there are several appointments dedicated to same-day appointments. A second option is to walk-in to any of our locations and be seen by the first available Doctor. A walk-in patient is seen when someone does not show up for her/his scheduled appointment. If you choose this option, we will do everything possible to see you as soon as possible and before the Health Center closes. However, it is possible that you many not be able to see the Doctor today. Due to heavy schedule, we cannot predict or guarantee how long your wait will be.

Do I have to pay today?

Yes, payment is expected at the time of service. If you cannot pay for all of your fees, you can pay a portion today and make payment arrangements with the cashier. It is GEFCC’s policy that no one will be turned away for an inability to pay. To learn more about our fee structure please go here.


Do you offer evening or weekend appointments?

Yes, all of our Health Centers and our Dental Clinic are open until at least 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and until until 5:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The only exceptions are our Randall Health Center, which is only open Mondays, and Lake Health Center, which closes at 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Do your practitioners have malpractice insurance?

Yes. Greater Elgin Family Care Center receives HHS funding and has federal Public Health Service (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. For more information, please see All Greater Elgin Family Care Center medical, dental and behavioral health practitioners are privileged and credentialed by our Board of Directors. Additionally, Greater Elgin Family Care Center is a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Deemed entity/facility. Greater Elgin Family Care Center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).

Does my parent have to authorize a visit for birth control?

No, the law allows minors between the ages of 12 and 18 to authorize treatment for family planning matters. Family planning matters include: Pregnancy testing, STD testing, and birth control.

How can I reach a medical/dental provider when the health centers are closed?

When our health centers are closed, registered patients of Greater Elgin Family Care Center may reach a medical or dental provider by calling any of our main telephone numbers. You will receive instructions on how to access the provider on call. Cuando los centros de salud estan cerrados, nuestros pacientes pueden comunicarse con un proveedor medico o dental llamando a nuestra linea principal.

How do I get a copy of my medical/dental record?

Patients or parents/guardians of patients may request medical records. Patients will need to come into the health center and a receptionist will provide a medical records release form to be filled out. Patients will indicate to whom the records will be released (patient or another medical facility/doctor’s office). Typically, medical records are released in 5-7 business days, but will be sent not later than 30 days after the request. Patient may indicate if a release is urgent to expedite the process.

How do I make an appointment?

To make an appointment at any of our locations, call one of the following numbers, depending on where you reside. Elgin Area, Cook & Kane County (847) 608-1344, McHenry & DeKalb County (815) 363-9900, and DuPage County (630) 313-5300.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment slot as a walk-in?

How long you wait depends on two factors: 1. The number of patients on the walk-in list ahead of you; and 2. The number of Providers providing care at that time.

How much will it cost for my visit?

The cost of your visit is dependent on two factors: 1. Your household income and the size of your family determine the level of discount you receive; 2. What occurs during your visit and any tests the doctor may order. Learn more about our fee schedule by going here. Every patient who is below 100% of the Federal Poverty guidelines pays ONLY a Nominal Fee of $25.00 each visit which includes most laboratory services – over 37% less than any other FQHC provider. No individual is turned away for the inability to pay for services!


I don't live in Elgin, can I still be a patient?

Greater Elgin Family Care Center serves all individuals, regardless as to their residence. Last year we provided care to persons from well over 300 different zip codes. There are no residency requirements to receive services. Go here to find a Health Center near you.


I have insurance, can I still be seen?

Yes! Please visit our insurance page for a list of public and private insurance plans that are accepted by Greater Elgin Family Care Center.


If I am working can I receive care?

Yes. You can use Greater Elgin Family Care Center services regardless of whether or not you are employed. Many people who are uninsured and employed still qualify for our Discount Program. Please visit our Fees page to learn more about our sliding fee scale and the Discount Program.


If I call, can you tell me if my child has been seen by a provider?

No, we cannot release this type of information unless we have a signed release of information form.

If I come in as a walk-in, can you promise I'll get an appointment?

No, we cannot promise you will get an appointment slot. We do our best to see all walk-ins, however, there may be more walk-in patients than there are available appointment slots. GEFCC recommends that you arrive as early as possible to ensure you get an appointment slot.

If I'm under 18, can I come in alone for my medical appointment?

No, we are required to get permission from your parent or legal guardian to provide medical services. Your legal guardian must be present at your initial visit.

I'm pregnant and need an appointment for prenatal care - do you have Ob/Gyn providers?

Yes, we have Ob/Gyn providers. We also offer delivery by a certified nurse midwife or a certified women’s health nurse practitioner. You will start your prenatal care with a qualified family practice provider and transfer to an Ob/Gyn as your pregnancy progresses.

What are poverty levels?

Poverty levels are set by the federal government and are updated annually. Poverty levels are based on household income and the number of members in your family. To learn more about our fee structure please go here.


What are your fees?

Greater Elgin Family Care Center’s fee schedule is comparable to other medical fees in the Elgin area. However, GEFCC offers a sliding fee discount to those who qualify. To learn more about our fee structure please go here.


What discount do I qualify for?

Sliding Fee Discounts are given to patients who are below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Proof of income is required to qualify for a discount, and must be updated annually. To learn more about our fee structure please go here.


What does The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval mean?

Greater Elgin Family Care Center is proud to have The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™! When you see this seal, you can be sure that our organization is dedicated to your quality, safe care. Learn more about The Joint Commission.


What happens if I have a concern that has not been resolved?

If you, as a patient of Greater Elgin Family Care Center, have a concern about patient care or safety that has not been addressed, please ask to speak with a manager in order to resolve the issue.

What hospitals do you work with?


Advocate Sherman Hospital, AMITA Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center, AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center, AMITA Health St. Joseph Hospital – Elgin, Northwest Community Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital


What is a sliding fee scale?


A sliding fee scale means that GEFCC fees are discounted by a predetermined percentage that is based on your family size and household income. For example: If you are at or below 100% of poverty (based on the federal poverty guidelines) then you will receive a discount of 90% off our regular fees. However, if you are above 200% of poverty, you do not qualify for the sliding fee scale. To learn more about our fee structure please go here.


What is the best time to call?

Our Call Center begins taking calls at 7:00 a.m. and receives hundreds of calls each day. In order to reduce your wait time on the phone, we encourage you to call during non-peak hours, if possible. Although not always predicable, a person calling Greater Elgin Family Care Center between 10:00 am and 5:00 PM can expect lesser wait times, although the lunch time period is also very busy. Please remember, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

What is The Joint Commission?

An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. To earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™, an organization must undergo an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years.

What is your Walk-In policy?

Greater Elgin Family Care Center’s walk-in policy is that all walk-ins will be seen on a first come first served basis, with the exception of sick children who have priority. If you are a walk-in patient (you do not have a scheduled appointment), you have three options when you visit our Health Center: 1. If you have chest pain, acute pain, are bleeding or otherwise have a health emergency, you should proceed to the Emergency Room. 2. Schedule an appointment with the receptionist. We will offer you the next available appointment with the Doctor. 3. Wait for the next available appointment slot that becomes available. If you choose this option, we will do everything possible to see you as soon as possible and before the Health Center closes. However, it is possible that you may not be able to see the Doctor today, even if you chose to wait. Due to heavy schedules, we cannot predict or guarantee how long your wait will be.

Where are you located?

Our main health center, Summit Health Center, is located at 373 Summit Street in Elgin, IL. For a listing of all our service sites, including full-time health centers and school-based clinics, please go here.


Why is my pap smear appointment with a Family Practice provider?

Pap smears and family planning are part of the routine medical care that is offered by family practice providers. You will be referred to one of our gynecologists if your condition requires a specialist.