Legislation Set to Increase Access, Equity in Health Care System

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Governor Pritzker signed a Medicaid omnibus (HB4343) that includes a range of measures aimed at increasing access to quality health care services, preserving existing health care coverage, and continuing to create a more equitable health care system in Illinois. The legislation would provide continuous eligibility for adults enrolled in Medicaid, increase reimbursement rates for prenatal and postpartum health care coverage, and expand equity in coverage.

Continuous eligibility

HFS will seek federal approval to implement 12 months of continuous eligibility for adults who are enrolled in the medical assistance program, which would allow adults to stay enrolled regardless of changes in income or household size. The Department will also seek federal approval to allow individuals without a source of income at the time of their medical benefits redetermination to be considered for ex-parte renewal.

Prenatal and postpartum health care coverage

In addition to increasing prenatal and postpartum reimbursement rates, the legislation also expands coverage for midwifery services under the Medicaid program by adding Certified Professional Midwife services, effective January 1, 2023. Certified Nurse Midwife services are already covered under Medicaid.

Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults

The legislation expands eligibility for Illinois’ Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults (HBIA) program, which currently serves people aged 55 to 64. As of July 1, undocumented immigrant adults and lawful permanent residents who are in the five-year waiting period, and who would qualify for Medicaid if not for their immigration status, will be eligible for the program beginning at age 42. The Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors (HBIS) program provides health care coverage to undocumented immigrants and lawful permanent residents who are in the five-year waiting period aged 65 and older if they would qualify for the Medicaid program but for their immigration status.

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