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Welcome to HealthChoice Illinois: Medicaid managed care

Beginning January 1, 2018, Illinois transitioned their Managed Care program into a more streamlined, accountable, and integrated program.  The goal of the member-centric HealthChoice Illinois Program is to provide enhanced quality and improved outcomes, all while managing cost.  Statewide, providers have an opportunity to contract with each of the 4 (6 in Cook County) qualified, experienced, and financially sound Managed Care plans that have been chosen to provide services.  

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DCFS Youth in Care (YIC) in HealthChoice Illinois 

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) announced that youth in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) will transition to the new YouthCare program on September 1, 2020. The DCFS Youth in Care will be automatically enrolled in the YouthCare health plan.

YouthCare is a specialized HealthChoice Illinois Health Plan for DCFS Youth in Care. Working with the youth’s caseworker, YouthCare is designed to improve access to care through active coordination and a more robust provider network. With YouthCare, DCFS Youth in Care will receive additional benefits, such as care coordination for behavioral health needs, including trauma-informed care, and a specialized program for adoptive families, including an adoption-competent network of therapists to support the different phases of adoption and child development. 

What is Former Youth in Care?

Former youth in care are youth who have been adopted, are living with kinship providers, have returned to biological parents, and/or youth who have left the DCFS system. All of these youth were in DCFS previously. YouthCare has been administering benefits for former youth in care since February 1, 2020. 

What is Youth in Care?

Youth in Care are youth that are currently in the state of Illinois’ custody, living with foster parents, in group homes, or in residential settings. YouthCare will begin administering benefits for youth in care on September 1, 2020. The September 1, 2020 launch of YouthCare for youth in care has no impact on the continued coverage for former youth in care, which began February 1, 2020. 

Continuity of Care Period

Providers do not need to be contracted with YouthCare in order to treat children who are enrolled in YouthCare. YouthCare has an open network until February 28, 2021, which means provider claims for covered Medicaid services will be paid. YouthCare members will have a YouthCare ID Card. Providers must bill YouthCare for any services provided to YouthCare members. 

Additional Resources:

·To learn more about submitting claims to YouthCare, please review the billing instructions in our Provider Manual located at

·Visit the DCFS managed care page at for updated information and additional resources.

·HFS Press Release


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