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Illinois HFS confirms state Medicaid will still cover abortion services

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The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) on Thursday affirmed its commitment to covering abortion care for all Medicaid customers in the state of Illinois.

Illinois is one of only 16 states whose Medicaid programs cover abortion services and the only in the Midwest.

“In this state, when we say that healthcare is a right and not a privilege, that includes the right to make reproductive health decisions – full stop,” said HFS Director Theresa Eagleson. “Every woman in our state deserves comprehensive and affordable access to health care, including abortion if that is the right decision for her. The choice to carry a baby to term is a physical, emotional, and economic one for the involved woman and those she trusts alone.”

Illinois state law provides a right to reproductive healthcare, including abortion and maternity care. It ensures access to abortion services in Illinois even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The department has issued a notice reminding Medicaid-enrolled healthcare providers about the state’s coverage for abortion services.

The department has also issued a notice to the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) that help administer Medicaid that they are contractually required to include information on abortion service coverage in their member handbooks. The department instructed MCOs that call center staff and care coordinators must be prepared to answer enrollee questions about their abortion service coverage, including the continuation of this coverage.

To ensure access to abortion services, the department has previously raised the rate it pays health care providers for abortion services.

HFS has two programs for pregnant women regardless of US citizenship or immigration status, for incomes up to 213% of the federal poverty line:

  • Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility (MPE) offers immediate, temporary coverage for outpatient healthcare for pregnant women. The department has worked to add more eligible health care providers into the MPE program
  • .Moms & Babies covers healthcare for women while they are pregnant and for 12 months after the baby is born, regardless of whether the pregnancy ended as a result of birth, miscarriage, or abortion and regardless of whether the individual signed an adoption agreement. Moms & Babies coverage is the full Medicaid benefit package. This includes coverage for hospital care, including labor and delivery, primary and specialty care, and prescription drugs.

These two programs give pregnant women the care they need to keep them and their babies healthy. Providers can enroll pregnant women into MPE coverage to access services immediately. People can apply for Moms & Babies with or without MPE coverage.

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