Tracy and Hammond pass law to ensure Medicaid coverage of nursing home residents

To ensure quality care for Illinois nursing home residents, State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) and State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) sponsored a measure to provide provisional eligibility for Medicaid long-term care applicants whose applications have not been processed within federal timelines. As of November 28, House Bill 4771 was passed into law, taking effect immediately.  

“Illinois’ Medicaid backlog for our nursing homes has been a grave concern for the residents and the facilities,” said Tracy. “These are individuals that cannot have any gaps in their health coverage and care, and we need to ensure their nursing home has the necessary funding to deliver the quality care they need and deserve. Too many nursing homes have had to make significant spending cuts in order to operate while waiting on state funding. House Bill 4771 is one of many steps we are taking to improve the Medicaid backlog and application process.”

This initiative authorizes the state to pay long-term care benefits for Medicaid applicants if their applications are not processed in a timely manner. The measure will expedite up the payment process and ensure that nursing homes receive payment for the services they offer to their residents.

Over the past several years, the State has developed a significant backlog of applications for Medicaid long-term care benefits. In May of this year, the backlog for Medicaid long-term care eligibility and admission exceeded 12,000 pending applications. 

With the inclusion of this initiative, the State has taken several actions to reduce the Medicaid long-term care backlog for nursing homes this year.

State Actions to Improve the Medicaid Backlog for Nursing Homes:

  • Creation of an additional office to process Medicaid long-term car applications
  • Expedited eligibility to individuals who have been on Medicaid in the community for six or more months
  • Senate Bill 2385, a law to streamline the process of releasing financial documents to the state
  • Senate Bill 2913, a law to ensure continuity of coverage for current Medicaid recipients and to decrease bureaucratic paperwork
  • Quarterly meetings with the long-term care organizations to discuss ongoing issues

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