Thresholds

Thresholds Statement on Medicaid Expansion

Thresholds Statement on Medicaid Expansion

Quinn Signs Bill to expand Medicaid coverage to about 342,000 low-income adults in Illinois; significant new coverage for persons with mental illness

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Mark Ishaug, CEO of Thresholds issued the following statement:

“Today Governor Quinn signed into law historic legislation that offers hope and help to thousands of Illinoisans suffering from mental illnesses. The new law expands access to Medicaid to more than 340,000 low-income adults in Illinois, filling critical gaps in care. With the signing of this legislation, Illinois becomes the 23rd state to expand Medicaid.

Medicaid is the most important source of financing for mental health services in America. Until today, it has been out of reach for many low-income adults without children. More than 30% of these eligible adults are currently uninsured adults with significant behavioral health needs.

Coupled with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Coordinated Care, and the Olmstead consent decrees, Medicaid expansion presents a real and exciting opportunity for Illinois to invest in and re-design the behavioral health safety net. This is critical given the state’s significant cuts in recent years to mental health and substance abuse services. These cuts have resulted in thousands of people going without necessary mental health care and substance abuse treatment, which has in turn resulted in clogging emergency rooms with people with mental health needs, as well as a build-up of people in the jails and nursing homes, neither of which provide the necessary support and recovery services to help individuals on their road to wellness and recovery.

We look forward to working with state policymakers to ensure that these new resources are leveraged to strengthen the behavioral health safety-net and ensure that access is linked to enrollment.”

Media Contact: Emily Moen, Director of Public Relations and Marketing – 773-572-5172