The state of Illinois’ most recent legislative session concluded with several policy changes to the health care landscape that will positively impact families. Most notably, EverThrive Illinois and our partners at Start Early, Nurse Family Partnership, and the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, successfully drafted and passed bill language to allow people with Medicaid to receive perinatal support from a doula and home visitors. In collaboration with contraceptive access partners, we passed bill language that will require the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to apply for a Family Planning amendment for our Medicaid program, which will expand access to contraceptive services for people earning low incomes.
Also, in response to a 2018 Illinois Department of Health report showing unacceptably high rates of mortality and morbidity, particularly among Black birthing parents, the Illinois General Assembly passed several notable bills, such as the updated Maternal Mortality Omnibus Bill, SB 967 which includes:
- Unbundling payment structures for long-acting reversible contraception in all insurance plans, making it easier for people to access IUDs after giving birth.
- Expanding access to case management services, including substance abuse and mental health treatment, for low-income people and high-risk pregnancies.
- Guaranteed coverage for medically necessary inpatient and outpatient treatment services.
- Providing immediate access to 48 hours of inpatient treatment, including detoxification or withdrawal management, partial hospital admission for conditions related to pregnancy or postpartum complications.
Other Key Bills Passed:
- HB3995– The Birth Center Licensing Act creates standards in licensing for all birth centers in Illinois.
- HB135 – Pharmacist over-the-counter contraceptive dispensing.
- HB3308 – Telehealth flexibilities implemented in private insurance plans were extended and include payment parity for providers until January 1, 2028.
- HB68 – Hospitals will now be required to report all female deaths.
Budget Advocacy Updates:
- School Based Health Center funding was preserved from last year’s $3M increase.
- Immigrant Senior Health Care Program expanded to include adults ages 55-64 earning below $12,880 or families of four earning below $26,500.
- The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the 2019 postpartum expansion for the Illinois Moms and Babies Health Plan, which now allows those who qualify while pregnant to have up to 12 months of health care coverage after pregnancy. Previously, many found their benefits ended after just 60 days.
Over the last three years, Illinois has made incredible strides towards addressing health care inequities, but there is more work to be done to ensure policies produce equitable outcomes. EverThrive Illinois continues to develop legislative efforts on behalf of all women, children, and families. Please support our cause here.