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Democratic State Lawmakers Seek Answers on Medicaid Contracts

Seth Perlman
AP Photo

State legislators are raising questions about changes to healthcare for some of Illinois’ neediest people. But at a hearing Mon., state officials had no answers.

State Rep. Greg Harris says lawmakers have been hearing from constituents who are panicked.
They’ve gotten letters saying they’re being dropped from their current Medicaid plan and being moved to the Affordable Care Act.

Harris was incredulous when an official with the state Department of Healthcare and Family Services said he’d heard about the letter, but did not yet know anything else about it.

“Nobody knows why this is happening? I mean, this is the most fragile and vulnerable — this is aged, blind and disabled — these are the most fragile and vulnerable people," Harris said. 

Harris says health care is a matter of life and death for many of these people. He says the change could leave them scrambling to figure out whether they have to get a new doctor right before the holidays.

Officials from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services spokesman John Hoffman later said no one is losing coverage with the change.

He says the state is "working with advocates and beneficiaries who have questions ... to make sure they understand the process."