Press Release - Monday, May 01, 2023
Gov. Pritzker Encourages Illinois Medicaid Customers to Complete Renewals to Ensure Continued Coverage as Federal Pandemic-era Policies End
CHICAGO - As the COVID-19 pandemic policy of pausing annual Medicaid renewals for customers comes to an end, the Pritzker administration is committed to protect coverage for eligible Illinois Medicaid customers, as annual eligibility verifications, or redeterminations, resume in Illinois. The first week of May is a critical time, as the first round of customers to go through the resumed renewal process will be receiving time-sensitive redetermination notices in the mail.
In Illinois, there will not be a "coverage cliff," where everyone loses coverage at one time. Rather, redeterminations will happen on a rolling basis through mid-2024. Everybody's due date is different, and all Illinois Medicaid customers will have a chance to go through the redetermination process.
"My administration is committed to making this renewal and redetermination process as smooth and efficient as possible, so that every Illinoisan knows the healthcare options that are available to them," said Governor JB Pritzker. "We've been preparing for this moment for many months now, from increasing staffing to our widespread Ready to Renew marketing campaign. And we are collaborating with community health centers, local organizations, and public health partners to deliver resources for Illinois residents that will be most impacted by the restart of the Medicaid redetermination process."
"In Illinois, we are committed to the work that will ensure the people of our state can live healthy and well. Access to healthcare and providing critical information to navigate the healthcare system is core to that mission," said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. "As hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans are impacted by the return of annual Medicaid renewals, we are digging in through the Ready to Renew campaign, so they know how to take action and maintain the healthcare coverage that is key to a good quality of life."
In the month of June, approximately 113,600 cases in Illinois are up for renewal. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), which administers the Illinois Medicaid program, has conducted an ex parte screening on all cases using electronic data sources and known information to determine the customer's continued eligibility. Thanks to robust preparations and enhanced data connections, HFS was able to automatically renew 51% of Medicaid customers due in June.
Customers with June renewal dates should keep a close eye on their mailboxes starting this week to see if they were renewed automatically or if they need to take action. If they are required to complete and submit their renewal form and any additional information to determine their eligibility, they must do so by June 1. It's critical that customers have up-to-date contact information on file with Illinois Medicaid because customers whose eligibility cannot be verified through the ex parte process will be required to complete forms with additional information and submit that to HFS.
Customers who do not respond or are no longer eligible lose their Medicaid coverage a month after their due date. Anyone who is no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage will be notified and will receive information about how to enroll in alternative coverage.
"I can only imagine how daunting the Medicaid redetermination process may seem for many Illinois residents," empathizes State Representative Eva-Dina Delgado. "It is crucial to complete this process on time to avoid any lapses in health care coverage. My office is here to help, and I encourage anyone who needs assistance to reach out and take advantage of this resource. I commend Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services for their commitment to spreading awareness and providing assistance."
"Illinois has taken a proactive, multi-faceted approach to try to make sure that everyone who is eligible for Medicaid can continue coverage through the program without disruption," said HFS Director Theresa Eagleson. "Medicaid customers have not had to renew coverage in over three years, and we have engaged in many levels of outreach to prepare people for when their renewal date comes up. We believe these efforts will have a significant impact in preserving coverage and encourage everyone to visit our website for more information on both their own renewals and how community organizations and health providers can assist."
Medicaid enrollment in Illinois grew significantly in the three years the Continuous Coverage Requirement was in place, currently covering roughly 3.9 million people statewide, up from 2.9 million before the pandemic. To prepare for the end of the Continuous Coverage Requirement, HFS has been working for more than a year to raise public awareness in an effort to ensure eligible Illinois customers retain their coverage in anticipation of the Continuous Coverage Requirement ending.
HFS and sister agency, the Department of Human Services (DHS), have been adding staff, including case workers. HFS has also embarked on a campaign that weaves in the Illinois Navigator program, the HFS Application Agent program, community health centers, community-based organizations, and public health partners to coordinate available resources for Illinois residents that will be most impacted by the restart of the Medicaid redetermination process.
In March, HFS launched a multi-platform outreach campaign called Ready to Renew, which includes paid ads, print, digital and broadcast communications, and grassroots outreach to help Medicaid customers across the state ensure they're prepared for their upcoming renewal. HFS also launched a Ready to Renew Toolkit in multiple languages so anyone who interacts with Medicaid customers can easily access and use key messages and materials to help reach Medicaid customers.
The Ready to Renew campaign built on a prior public awareness effort conducted in 2022, drawing attention to the importance of Medicaid customers updating their contact information on file with Illinois Medicaid to ensure that when their renewal date approaches, the time-sensitive redetermination materials reach them at the correct location.
Medicaid customers can be sure they're ready to renew by visiting abe.illinois.gov and clicking "Manage My Case" to set up an online account. Once there, customers should:
- Verify their mailing address is correct to make sure they get mail from HFS (addresses are listed in the 'Contact Us' tab).
- Look up their due date so they know when it is time to renew (due dates are in the 'Benefit Details' tab).
- Complete their renewal right away when they are due.
Customers can also call 1-800-843-6154 for help with their renewal. For more information, please visit HFS' online information center at Medicaid.illinois.gov, which includes answers to frequently asked questions, links to download the Ready to Renew toolkit, a link to abe.illinois.gov, and will house the HFS operational plan for transitioning out of the public health emergency.
View and download the Ready to Renew toolkit to help Medicaid customers keep their coverage.
The Pritzker administration is committed to both protecting and expanding access to high-quality health care services available across Illinois, especially for youth. Less than two weeks ago, the Biden Administration approved the State's request to expand the School-Based Health Services programServices program, which is expected to bring tens of millions in new federal health care funding to Illinois. Illinois schools will be able to receive federal matching dollars to provide covered services for more Medicaid-enrolled children across the state, including critical mental health services for youth.