ENSURING THE SAFETY AND ACCESS TO MEDICAID FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS
With over 12,000 cases and more than 300 deaths, Illinois has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As federal and state officials work feverishly to flatten the curve of this disease, Illinois’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) along with the Illinois Association of Medicaid Health Plans (IAMHP) and its member plans have increased coordination efforts to combat this public health emergency.
Technical experts from IAMHP and Medicaid Health plans have been working with HFS to find solutions to some of the many issues facing Illinois residents. As a result, the following changes have been enacted to mitigate the impact and spread of the COVID-19, streamline process for new applications and preserve access for current Medicaid members.
MITIGATING THE IMPACT AND SPREAD OF COVID-19:
As the state reinforces shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines, measures have been taken to halt the acceleration of COVID-19 while meeting the needs of Illinois residents including:
NEW MEDICAID APPLICATIONS
In the last week of March, more than 178,000 Illinois residents applied for unemployment, a 50% increase from the week before. For those without health insurance, Illinois’ Medicaid Managed Care program has implemented new policies to simplify the application process:
For more information or to apply for Medicaid, visit the State of Illinois’ Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE) website.
CURRENT MEDICAID MEMBERS
If you are a current Medicaid member do not worry about losing coverage, the following steps have been taken to preserve access to benefits:
April 8, 2020
SUPPORT FOR MEDICAID PROVIDERS
IAMHP, along with its member plans are committed to ensuring Medicaid members continue to receive the services and care they need during this public health crisis.
With over 12,000 cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are working to ease the burden for Medicaid Providers as much as possible. Hospitals are at capacity and Health Plans are seeing steep declines in enrollments as more people become unemployed.
To date, we have taken the following steps to help members and providers:
These are unparalleled and unpredictable times that require all of us to come together for the greater good. Medicaid Health Plans are committed to this state, their members, and their provider partners and are prepared to help solve the unprecedented challenges before us all.
ILLINOIS MEDICAID TELEHEALTH EXPANSION
In an effort to free up hospital space for COVID-19 patients and adhere to social distancing orders in place, health plans are covering telehealth services to allow people to continue regular medical and behavioral health needs. Now Medicaid members can receive services in a wider range of facilities, including their place of residence or other temporary location within or outside the state of Illinois.
Under this expansion, there are three types of appointments – telehealth, virtual check-ins and portal visits:
Telehealth appointments are conducted in real time via telephone or video conferencing by a qualified Medicaid provider.
HFS will reimburse medically necessary virtual care services on or after March 9, 2020 until the public health crisis no longer exists.