Thresholds Commends Governor for Signing Legislation Strengthening Medicaid

CHICAGO – Thresholds applauds Governor Pritzker for signing into law SB1321, a package of measures aimed at strengthening Illinois’ Medicaid program – the single largest payer of mental health and substance use treatment.

In partnership with advocates from across the state, Thresholds spearheaded provisions in the legislation that pave the way for better continuity of coverage and more innovative approaches to treatment.

Currently, tens of thousands of Illinoisans experience a lapse in healthcare coverage due to inefficient and unnecessarily cumbersome processes each year. As a result, these individuals lose access to medication and other treatment services needed to lead healthy lives, in spite of most people continuing to be eligible for coverage. Through the Protect Our Care IL Coalition, Thresholds worked to secure provisions prompting the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to identify opportunities for streamlining Medicaid eligibility determinations and renewals by better leveraging data and community partnerships.

governer pritzker holding a just-signed bill as the people around him applaud.

Thresholds also helped craft provisions calling on HFS to lead a stakeholder work group focused on modernizing Illinois’ behavioral healthcare system by developing a strategy for scaling up value-based payment (VBP) arrangements. VBP enables better patient outcomes by allowing providers greater flexibility to innovate and tailor services to meet the needs of those living with mental health conditions.

“Today’s signing of SB1321 represents a big step in the right direction for the future of Illinois’ Medicaid program. This law lays the groundwork for important changes for the 3 million Illinoisans who get their healthcare coverage through Medicaid, including thousands of children and adults living with mental health and substance use conditions in communities across our state,” says Heather O’Donnell, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy at Thresholds.

Thresholds will continue to work with the Governor’s administration and stakeholders throughout Illinois to implement the bill and ensure that individuals eligible for Medicaid are able to get and keep their coverage so that they can receive the services they need to live well and thrive.

Media contact: Emily Moen, VP of PR & Marketing, Thresholds (773-572-5172).

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