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September 2015

Budget Stalemate Pushing Hospitals to Brink
hospital emergency

Some Illinois hospitals may soon close their doors, because the State is woefullybehind on its Medicaid payments – two months behind. Even Medicaid managed care organizations have not been paid for July and August.

This is according to advocates who testified at a Human Services Committee hearing organized organized by State Sen. Daniel Bliss.

Hospital closures posethe greatest risk for facilities serving large numbers of Medicaid enrollees, and they would bring about a ripple effect of consequences. Patients would not only lose access to care, but staff would lose jobs and a source of income.

Since the health care sector is a major source for jobs and economic development, hospital closures and job losses would represent a step back for the financial vitality of the State.

hospital emergency From Our Blog

Stay the Course with SHIP State budget cuts are not the only threat to seniors and people with disabilities. Federal reductions may be coming as well. The US Senate is considering a 42% reduction in funding to the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, which counsels seniors and people with disabilities on their Medicare health plan options. If cuts are enacted, SHIP funding would drop to a mere $20 million, diminishing the numbers and quality of the SHIP workforce. SHIP is necessary now more than ever, as 10,000 Americans become eligible every day for a Medicare system that is increasingly complex. Medicare beneficiaries often pay the price for the confusion. Read more...

ACA enrollmentNew on Our Site

New interactive maps at Data Matters show wide variation across Illinois in signups for ACA health insurance plans in the first two rounds of open enrollment. The rate of eligible residents enrolling in "Obamacare" plans ranged from a high of 52% to a low of only 21%. An estimated 600,000 eligible residents remain uninsured. With the shrinkage of resources for ACA enrollment efforts and the ongoing State budget crisis, communities will need to use all available resources to ensure that the opportunity to get covered is extended to all resident this fall. Open enrollment starts November 1. Use the maps to target outreach efforts in your area, and follow @ILHealthMatters on Twitter for more outreach tools and news. As always, drop us a line at info@illinoishealthmatters.orgto let us know what you think.

In case you missed it

Advocates in Chicago and the suburbs are pushing for stronger mental health systems. While suburban advocates emphasize their area doesn't even have a mental health budget, Health and Disability Advocates is calling for casino money to fund behavioral health services.

A new trauma center is going to be built by University of Chicago and Sinai Health Systemon Chicago's South Side. Residents had long protested the absence of a trauma center in that area.

Recent resources

This report from Health & Disability Advocates details the Chicago Department of Public Health’s work in supporting behavioral health.
The Role Public Health in Chicago's Mental Health System

This report from Health & Disability Advocates communicates the consequences of changing the minimum eligibility threshold for the Determination of Need screen for long-term services and supports.
Slashing Services, Eliminating Independence

This interactive grid from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlights the preventative services that health plans are required to cover without any cost sharing.
Free Preventative Services!


Find enrollment events in your area at the Get Covered Illinois Events page.

Find volunteer and community engagement opportunities at Get Covered America Events page.

Download a presentation and/or watch a recording from the EverThrive Illinois Webinar series.

Learn what the ACA means for a small business owner from the Small Business Majority's Thursday talks.

From our social media

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: .@ChicagosMayor just heard recs from @HDAdvocates on how to improve mental health system in Chicago #chibudget2016

On Twitter
@ILHealthMatters: Illinois has enrolled 40% of healthcare consumers eligible for Medicare & #Medicaid;

On Facebook
5 Things You Didn't Know About Using Cell Phones to Improve Health Care in the Safety Net

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