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Illinois seeking to extend Medicaid coverage for mental health and substance abuse

Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state of Illinois is seeking permission from the federal government to use Medicaid funding to pay for mental health and substance abuse services that usually aren’t covered under the health insurance program for those living in poverty.

The Southern Illinoisan (http://bit.ly/2c56f5Y ) reports that Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration is seeking a five-year waiver from certain Medicaid rules as part of its proposed “health and human services transformation.”

The plan aims to give services to Illinois’ most vulnerable residents more cost-effectively and efficiently by focusing on community-based programs, cooperation among state agencies, preventative care and public health.

The waiver would allow the state to test new ways of giving services to Medicaid recipients with mental illness and substance abuse problems. It wouldn’t increase the amount of federal funding the state receives or expand eligibility.