Attorneys enforce Medicaid class action

Attorneys from Legal Council for Health Justice, the Shriver Center, and Sidley Austin L.L.P filed in court today on behalf of thousands of low-income people to enforce federal law and the State of Illinois’ agreement to process Medicaid applications in a timely fashion. The attorneys charge that the State is violating both federal law and an Illinois court order by significantly delaying Medicaid applications and denying residents access to health coverage.

“The State of Illinois is clearly in violation of federal law and thousands of Illinoisans are suffering gravely because of it,” said Carrie Chapman, director of advocacy at Legal Council for Health Justice, one of the organizations that helped file the motion. “D.H.S must provide our clients with access to the care they need and are legally entitled to—we simply can’t wait any longer.”

Illinois moved to a new computer system for eligibility resulting in delays in processing tens of thousands of Medicaid applications.

This is a public health crisis.

While Medicaid applications pend, people cannot get medically-necessary care. Newborn babies are not added to Medicaid and wait months for immunizations and well-baby visits to make sure that they are developing properly. Seniors and others with chronic conditions forgo regular medical care and medications.

The State’s delays also take a serious toll on hospitals and health systems, as obstructing care to the medically-underserved fuels rising healthcare costs.

Read the entire motion here and press release here.

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