Changes in 2018 for Illinois Medicaid patients

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois’ Medicaid patients will see a change in health care coverage Jan. 1.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services has signed a $60 billion deal with seven insurers to cover nearly three million low-income clients.

Lawmakers have protested the way that Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration procured the deal. Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris has convened a hearing Thursday in Chicago on the issue.

HFS spokesman John Hoffman says the agency followed the same proper process for such purchases as it has for decades.

Illinois spends $10.5 billion a year on Medicaid. It will pay about $15 billion annually starting next year but cover hundreds of thousands more.

And Hoffman says it will save up to $300 million a year because insurers agreed to be paid less by the state.

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