Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner plans to reduce Medicaid spending by $1.47 billion in his 2016 budget, and patient advocates worry that the state's $32 million dental care program will be cut. Medicaid dental benefits for low-income adults in Illinois were cut three years ago and restored last year after lawmakers said cutting them had been more costly than keeping them.
Illinois' Medicaid program spent about $6.7 million last year for all hepatitis C treatments, says Dr. Arvind Goyal, medical director with the state's Department of Health Care and Family Services. The state spent between $22 million and $23 million on hepatitis C treatments in the first half of this year, and more than $16 million of that spending was for Gilead's new hepatitis C treatment, Goyal says. State officials reviewed the FDA-approved package insert for Sovaldi, analyzed the research literature and spoke with other state health officials to devise a set of 25 utilization criteria for Sovaldi.
Low-income families in Illinois that use the LINK card to buy food can buy twice as much produce when they use the card at farmers' markets this summer, said Gov. Pat Quinn. The program's aim is to improve access to nutritious food while supporting the state's farmers, he said.
The Illinois Senate has voted for a bill that would expand Medicaid eligibility, opening the program to as many as 500,000 additional residents. The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who has backed the effort.
KV Pharmaceutical settled a lawsuit accusing the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services of blocking the access of Medicaid patients to preterm birth drug Makena. The state's Medicaid program will now cover Makena; terms of the settlement were not disclosed.