As per the Sun-Times Newspaper dated June 16, 2014
Adult dental, podiatric care will be covered by Medicaid
Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill Monday to make a few key changes to Medicaid, including restoring two types of Medicaid coverage that were cut two years ago to save money.
Adult dental care and podiatric care will again be covered by Medicaid, starting on or after Oct. 1.
Both were cut in 2012 to save money. Supporters have argued that paying for these preventative services will actually save money in the long run by keeping patients out of emergency rooms.
“This legislation is a critical step forward as we continue to reform our Medicaid system,” Quinn said.
Restoring dental and podiatric care for a few more years is being made possible with $2.4 billion in new money Illinois expects to receive from the federal government. Two billion dollars of that will come from two hospital assessments distributions that the federal government provides. The Quinn administration also has submitted a plan to receive $400 million annually in new federal dollars for hospitals serving newly Medicaid recipients under the Affordable Care Act.
That money should lead to new jobs for these hospitals, Quinn said, though the state could not provide an estimate.
“This will not rely on any Illinois taxpayer money,” said State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, who co-sponsored the bill. “This is $2.4 billion dollars worth of money that will come into our healthcare system that the governor has found a way to do without raising any kind of Illinois taxes.”
Senate bill 741, which was signed into law by Quinn on Monday at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, also aligned Illinois law with federal law, so that children who had been without private insurance for at least three months could apply for Medicaid.
Illinois law used to leave children without health insurance for 12 months before Medicaid coverage was allowed.
The bill also will provide additional money to nursing homes and the state’s network of safety net hospitals.
Three million Illinois residents are currently on Medicaid. More than 349,000 people enrolled in Medicaid were able to do so because of the Affordable Care Act expansion.