Changes to Medicaid for the State of Illinois at the beginning of the year have been raising many questions from residents of Morgan County and the rest of Illinois.
As of January First, Illinois has expanded Medicaid coverage across all counties in the state under the new Health Choice Illinois program. This allows citizens of Illinois to choose from seven different managed care organizations through commercial insurance companies.
Dale Bainter is the Administrator of the Morgan County Health Department. Bainter describes this change and the end of the state government’s direct involvement with Medicaid.
“The current changes to the Medicaid system have been a rollout of MCOs, or managed care organizations, where multiple commercial insurance companies have become involved in the management of Medicaid benefits. Their benefits are being managed, instead of by the state government, now by insurance carriers. It’s added some confusion for a lot of recipients not understanding their benefits or the change to their benefits. There has been a lot of change recently.”
Bainter says each of the specific Medicaid options is similar to others, but each is also unique.
“As people enroll in different plans, depending on the plan that a recipient would choose, because a recipient can choose the commercial insurance provider that they would like to handle their coverage, there are different nuances to the plans and to the coverages. It can be very daunting and intimidating for an individual to go out and research which plan they would like to sign up for. They all have similar benefits, but there are different nuances between the programs.”
Bainter understands residents will have questions in regards to each of the different choices and recommends contact to the managed care organization or your primary care physician.
For more information on each of the seven managed care provider’s coverages, or to enroll in Medicaid coverage, go online to enrollhfs.illinois.gov.