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Update: Illinois Medicaid

On September 13, 2011, the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules (JCAR) again considered the comprehensive new Medicaid regulations proposed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHS) which in part implement the requirements of the federal Deficit Reduction Act provisions affecting Medicaid eligibility.  DHS released revisions of its proposed rules to the public on Friday, September 9, 2011, giving advocates little time to consider the revisions.  JCAR had the option of lifting its prohibition or continuing it.  Due to the remaining concerns of the elder law bar and others, JCAR announced that it was continuing the prohibition and directed DHS to sit down and negotiate with the interested parties.  On September 28, 2011 JCAR staff, Julie Hamos, Director of DHS and her staff members met with various members of the elder law bar to negotiate some of the controversial provisions.  As of now, it is not certain whether DHS will adopt all or some of the proposed revisions suggested by the elder law bar.  If JCAR does not lift its prohibition in its October meeting on October 11,   2011, the proposed regulations will expire and DHS will need to start over in the future.  Director Hamos has suggested that if this occurs, that she will take the matter (implementation of the Deficit Reduction Act) to the Illinois General Assembly for passage in the form of a statute.  Stayed tuned next month – Illinois may or may not have new Medicaid regulations in place.

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