Illinois Medicaid History and Facts

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Initial Medicaid Implementation: Illinois implemented Medicaid in January of 1966, five months after the Medicaid program was signed into law. Initially, Medicaid medical dependency levels were set at $3,600 for a family of four. The state imposed cutbacks to its program by January 1969 due to the high costs associated with their initial welfare eligibility levels. Additionally in 1969 the state transitioned from a closed panel system where only physicians that served welfare beneficiaries to one that allowed all beneficiaries to accept Medicaid. This increased the participation in the Medicaid program from 3,228 physicians in 1967 to over 6,000 physicians in 1969. An early audit in the program found that the state had used a significant amount of funds improperly in the first year that the program was open.

Key Medicaid Political Issues: The state has had a history of expansions and contractions of services following changes in the party in charge of the governor’s office and fluctuations in the state’s budget. For example, the state provided adult dental benefits and in the mid 1990’s the program was cut and then quickly restored until these were eliminated through a set of further reductions in 2012 and later restored in 2014. The current programs that have seen greater cuts in recent years are programs that assist the developmentally disabled community. Illinois has provided fairly generous benefits to residents and has worked to establish greater availability of birth control and Hep C treatment in recent years with mixed results. Illinois was also the first state to provide coverage to children.

 Medicaid Expansion Implementation: Illinois began their expansion of Medicaid on January 1, 2014 and opened enrollment the preceding October along with the state’s separately run Marketplace. As of August 2018, Illinois is the most recent state to pass Medicaid expansion through the legislature without a waiver or other modifications made to the Medicaid expansion, passing on July 22, 2013.

General facts about Illinois Medicaid:

Medicaid program name: Medicaid

CHIP Program name: ALL Kids

Separate or combined CHIP: Combination

Medicaid Enrollment: 3.1 million (2017 estimate)

Total Medicaid Spending: $19.3 billion (FY 16 estimate)

Share of total population covered by Medicaid: 19%

Share of Children covered by Medicaid: 40% (estimate)

Share of Medicaid that is Children and Adults: 80%

Share of Spending on Elderly and people with disabilities: 59%

Share of Nursing Facility Residents covered by Medicaid: 60%

FMAP: 51.3%

Expansion state: Yes

Number of people in expansion: 681,000

Work Requirement: No


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