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Medicaid Expansion in Illinois

Date: 
02/12/2013

Medicaid Expansion in Illinois

On February 5th, Medicaid expansion legislation (SB26) moved out of committee in the Illinois Senate.  SB26 is a critical component of the Affordable Care Act.  It is designed to get Illinois’ uninsured into the main-stream health care system.

Today, there are 1.7 million uninsured Illinois residents, 60% of which are employed with companies that do not provide health insurance.   Many of the uninsured are left with the choice of seeking care they can’t afford or delaying care until they have to go to the Emergency Room.

Medicaid expansion is critical to the long-term health of Illinois families and the Illinois economy:

  • SB26 authorizes Illinois to take advantage of the ACA provision to expand Medicaid to 342,000 low-income Illinois citizens who are currently uninsured.
  • SB26 is expected to bring $4.6 billion additional federal dollars into Illinois in the first three years.  After 202, Illinois will pick up 10% of the cost (never to exceed 10%).
  • SB26 would ease the fiscal pressure caused by uncompensated care and save Illinois $953 million in the first 10 years of the program.

The expansion of Medicaid will allow adults 19 to 64 years of age with income below 138% of the federal poverty level ($20,000 for a couple/$15,400 for an individual to join Medicaid.  By expanding access to health insurance, Illinois will move from a highly inefficient system of ER care to one where Illinois residents will be able to access preventive care.   Even better, Medicaid’ cost growth in only 60% of the cost growth of private insurance.

 to read the FACT SHEET

Call Your State Senator by using the ‘Illinois Affordable Health Care Hotline': 1-888-616-3322

Please take a moment to call your state senator and ask them to support SB26, the Medicaid expansion bill.  Illinois has an opportunity to improve our health care system and improve the lives of 342,000 Illinoisans.  Please support legislation that will bring $4.6 billion of funding into Illinois to move the uninsured into our main stream health care system.

Some key points:

  • 24 governors are working to expand Medicaid in their states.
  • 12 Republican governors indicated they will participate in the new Medicaid program.
  • Medicaid fraud is being addressed by the ACA, already saving taxpayers $4.1 billion in 2011 alone.
  • 54% of current Medicaid clients rate their care 9 or 10 on a scale of 10, a higher rate than private insurance clients.
  • Less than 4% of those with Medicaid for over one year reported difficulty in obtaining quality care, the same level as private insurance clients.