Simmons Medicaid r

SPRINGFIELD – To ensure continuous access to healthcare for very low-income people and those who are housing insecure, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) was proud to introduce a measure to create an automatic renewal process and ensure 12 continuous months of coverage for Medicaid recipients.

“Adults whose monthly income fluctuates or who lack stable housing can lose Medicaid coverage and end up falling through the cracks if they need to see a doctor or access care,” Simmons said. “My legislation, SB3136, eliminates the interim income-change reporting requirement for adult Medicaid enrollees and guarantees at least a year of consistent coverage for Medicaid recipients.” Simmons' measure was included in the Medicaid omnibus, HB4343, which cleared the Senate today.

According to the Heartland Alliance, up to 30% of people eligible for Medicaid lose coverage at renewal with Black families being disproportionately affected. Simmons’ measure will remove unnecessary administrative hurdles Medicaid recipients face.

Under current law, individuals receiving Medicaid benefits must report changes in income during the 12 months following their approval or last redetermination. House Bill 4343 would remove this reporting requirement during that time, allowing for continuity of coverage for those who may be in between jobs, those who work several part-time jobs, or those whose work hours and income simply are not consistent each month. The legislation would also automatically re-enroll individuals with zero income.

The legislation also requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to provide information on how to request a hardship waiver in Spanish and a number of other languages.

“I have constituents who are houseless with no income at all, and I think it is especially important to re-enroll those with zero income automatically and annually so they are not turned away at a clinic. This ensures their care is not disrupted and they can maintain a consistent relationship with a primary care doctor who can help them meet their other healthcare needs. We are correcting a systemic gap in access to healthcare with this legislation today.”

House Bill 4343 passed the Senate. 

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