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Pritzker signs bill making healthcare more affordable, accessible for Illinoisans on Medicaid

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (WSIL) — Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation Tuesday that aims to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for Illinois residents that rely on the state’s Medicaid system.

Senate Bill 2294 makes multiple changes to Illinois’ Medicaid system including expansion of the program to cover new services and the implementation of new Medicaid-adjacent services by the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (HFS) and other agencies.

The legislation provides:

  • Continued Medicaid eligibility through the COVID-19 public health emergency and up to 12 months after it expires regardless of whether federally required or funded
  • Medicaid coverage for whole-health programs
  • Veteran support specialists so they receive care that recognizes their unique struggles
  • Individual and group programs for those seeking help ending their tobacco addiction
  • An expansion of mental health resources through the addition of clinical professional counselors and the creation of a comprehensive statewide behavioral health strategy
  • A requirement that in-patient status be given to anyone in need experiencing an opioid overdose, ensuring that lower-income residents aren’t turned away when they need it most
  • New coverage of kidney transplant medications regardless of residency
  • An expansion of HFS’s Medicaid enrollment assistance program through application agents, technical assistance, and outreach grants
  • An $80 million increase in the supportive living facility (SLF) rate — a 10% increase until March 31, 2022 — paid through federal ARPA funds

SB 2294 is effective immediately.

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