State seeks federal waiver to move Medicaid funds to social services

State officials hope the feds accept their request to use Medicaid dollars to transform how the state delivers social services, without any additional state tax dollars.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) said the 1115 Medicaid waiver request was filed with the federal government this week.

Jeremy Harvey with DCFS’s Division of Strategic Planning and Innovations said the waiver requests the use of federal dollars to fine-tune and update services upfront to secure savings down the road.

Harvey said taxpayers who don’t get Medicaid services should care about the waiver because early investment of more than $2 billion in short-term, highly effective services can avoid long-term costs.

“So provide a family with small intervention of needs up front they don’t need our care going on for significantly longer periods of time so that they can transition back to not needing to rely on the state or federal dollars for assistance.”

Harvey said one of the most exciting initiatives is a plan to use web technology to provide services.

“This is a sort of nationally recognized best practice of connecting high-quality service providers to family, children and youth who need those services via a video connection.”
The waiver request does not include any additional state tax dollars.

DCFS said it doesn’t expect the feds to approve the waiver until later this year. If it’s approved, the agency said the state would move quickly to implement the transformation.

–Illinois News Network

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