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January 2014 


Greetings from HFS Director Julie Hamos

Welcome to another periodic edition of HFS e-news to keep you updated on program changes. To register for future editions, please visit HFS E-News Online Registration or download for others who might be interested by visiting: If you are a Medicaid client, this newsletter is not the official notification of any changes that may impact you, and you do not have to respond in any way. This is general information for the public. Thank you,

Julie Hamos
Director, HFS

Historic Milestone Reached

On January 1, 2014, health care coverage was expanded under the Affordable Care Act. To apply for health care coverage in Illinois, the website screens consumers with a few basic questions, and then directs you either to the Health Insurance Marketplace (operated by the federal government) to shop for private health insurance being offered in Illinois, with subsidies if applicable, or to the Medicaid site for low-income Illinois residents. Illinois Medicaid has a modern new eligibility system, with the website named ABE – Application for Benefits Eligibility – where people can enroll for Medicaid, as well as SNAP (food stamps) and cash assistance. You can visit the ABE website for more information on the new eligibility system.

The federal Health Insurance Marketplace website,, is continuing to make improvements and has now posted fact sheets on Marketplace tips to help you enroll, to use your new coverage, and other useful items. 

Accountable Care Entity (ACE) Proposals Received

As of the deadline of 2 p.m. on January 3, 2014, we received 11 proposals for potential ACEs. You can find the list, with contact information, on the HFS Accountable Care Entity (ACEs) webpage, or by viewing the list of Proposals Received (pdf). As you know, an ACE is a new model for an integrated delivery system created by legislation in the spring of 2013. Congratulations to the new provider networks that organized since then. We will immediately begin the process of evaluating these proposals, with the goal of having them operational by July 2014.

Children’s Health Insurance Program Data Book Released

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2012 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Data Book, which can be found on the HFS Reports webpage, or by going directly to the CHIPRA Data Book (pdf). The CHIPRA Data Book was developed through the CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant and reports on the CHIPRA core measure set of children’s quality measures.

The demonstration grant is funded by the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA). In partnership with Florida, Illinois received one of ten grants and is currently in year four of the five-year grant period. CHIPRA focuses on strengthening the quality of children’s health care through measuring and reporting the core set of child health measures, improving quality through health information technology and exchange, improving and enhancing medical homes, and improving birth outcomes.

HFS has reported on various quality measures for several years, but the CHIPRA Data Book is the first time HFS has publicly reported on a comprehensive set of quality measures over time. We are interested in your input, as we intend to report on the CHIPRA core set annually, and plan to report on additional quality measures in the future. Please take the opportunity to review the data book and provide comments by e-mailing Jeff Todd at, Chief of the Bureau of Quality Management.

Please feel free to ask questions or share comments by e-mailing: