Medicaid overhaul adds clients, bumps up cost

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ILLINOIS (WAND) – More Illinoisans will be added to Medicaid coverage as part of a new statewide plan.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will take on 800,000 new clients in an effort to be efficient and cost-effective. The clients were added to HealthChoice Illinois on Jan. 1.

The deal is expected to double the cost, moving that number to $60 billion in a four-year plan. Leadership in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration believes the plan will save $1 billion in four years because insurers claimed lower reimbursement rates for their participation.

Critics are concerned about whether reimbursement rates are low enough to damage the viability of the plan. In November, Iowa lost a major insurer when its Medicaid program gave out lower rates.

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