Illinois DCFS Pushing Back New Medicaid Plan for Foster Children

Illinois DCFS Pushing Back New Medicaid Plan for Foster Children

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ child welfare agency is delaying the rollout of a new Medicaid plan for thousands of youth in its care by at least another two months amid ongoing concerns from advocates about whether it will hinder health care access for foster children.

About 13,000 foster children who were set to be enrolled in a Medicaid managed care plan Feb. 1 will now have to wait until April 1 to get set up for the new system, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) announced Thursday.

DCFS negotiated the new date with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which objected to the implementation next month.

Thursday, DCFS and the ACLU presented the plan in front of a federal judge presiding over the matter, who lauded the agreement and scheduled another hearing in March to monitor the progress.

This is the second time since September 2019 DCFS and the state Department of Healthcare and Family Services are changing the launch date.

Despite efforts to shore up the new system since then, the agencies have faced tough questions about the number of participating doctors, communication with foster parents and the quality of health assessments.