June 13, 2019
Have you heard or read about this? There are serious problems with the Medicaid system in Illinois, leaving communities – and organizations like Champaign County Health Care Consumers – to pick up the pieces in order to help consumers who need their coverage, and access to care.
What’s the problem with the Medicaid system?
There is a huge backlog in Medicaid applications, so many people who qualify for Medicaid coverage have to wait much longer than the 45-day maximum to get their health insurance coverage.
In addition to the backlog, consumers with Medicaid are experiencing dropped coverage for inexplicable reasons. This means that, out of the blue, they are losing their Medicaid coverage for no discernable reason.
What’s the cause of these problems?
Under Governor Rauner, the State of Illinois implemented a new system, provided by Deloitte, that was supposed to make Medicaid enrollment more streamlined and easier. Deloitte promised to save the State of Illinois lots of money. And the State of Illinois paid Deloitte a lot of money for this system, which is very glitchy and buggy (raising the question of whether the “bugs” in the system are really “features” that produce the cost-savings for the State as a result of dropped coverage?). In addition to implementing the Deloitte system, the State of Illinois also reduced the number of caseworkers who would normally help process Medicaid applications.
What’s the effect on consumers?
The effect on consumers is that they do not get the health coverage they need in a timely way. We have consumers who have had surgeries postponed or canceled, babies who were not immunized on schedule, and others who have been unable to fill their prescriptions.
What’s the impact on the community?
The community picks up the pieces. Health care providers are providing more uncompensated care, while consumers are waiting for their coverage to kick in or be reinstated.
What’s the impact on CCHCC?
We are busier than ever! Our Community Health Workers are spending a lot more time trying to help expedite Medicaid coverage for consumers, and spending hours on the phone trying to get dropped coverage reinstated. In addition, our Rx Fund is working overtime, helping to pay for prescriptions for individuals who cannot afford their prescriptions while they are waiting for their Medicaid insurance.
In addition to working with consumers to help them through this glitchy system, CCHCC is also alerting others about this problem and advocating for a solution. The State of Illinois should hold Deloitte accountable for their glitchy system!
As we continue to work on this issue, we will keep you updated. Our co-worker, Ashley Buckley, has been doing deep research into this issue and how this situation came about, and what other states have experienced (hint: Illinois is not alone in its problems with Deloitte’s system).
Champaign County Health Care Consumers