Date: April 1, 2022
To: All Medical Assistance Program Providers
Re: Federal Public Health Emergency Communications Toolkit – Now available in 10 languages!
This provider notice informs HFS Partners and Providers that the HFS Address Update Messaging Toolkit is now available and downloadable in 10 languages! Checkout the right side of the Toolkit page for the list of languages available and click to obtain materials in each language. We encourages providers to share messages from the Toolkit (download) through all available communications channels, repeatedly if possible, to help the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) collect current addresses from Medicaid customers.
Background: Planning for the End of the Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
HFS is taking steps to prepare for the end of the Federal Covid-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). When the PHE ends, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will end its continuous eligibility coverage provision. This provision has allowed HFS to keep Medicaid customers insured without confirming all eligibility requirements. As a result of this continuous eligibility, Medicaid customers have not been asked to update their information for two years. That new information is now critical for their continued coverage.
As the PHE ends, the Department's goals are to protect coverage for as many people as possible, reduce churn, reduce inequities, fulfill all legal requirements, and meet federally mandated timeframes.
The end date of PHE is currently unknown. However, once the end date of the PHE is announced, HFS will send redetermination materials to each household during the month when they would have been due for renewal if it were not for the PHE's continuous coverage provision.
To help as many people as possible keep their Medicaid coverage, HFS needs updated addresses in order to send people their redetermination forms. HFS requests your assistance to make sure the customer's most current address information is available, which will ensure customers receive their forms and return them in a timely manner to avoid any disruption in coverage.
People who use Medicaid can update their address in one of two ways: by phone (877-805-5312) or through an HFS web form (www2.illinois.gov/hfs/address).
What Providers Can Do: Using the Address Update Messaging Toolkit
HFS is asking providers to use all available communication channels to direct Medicaid customers to the HFS hotline or address change web form. To aid in these efforts, HFS has created a messaging toolkit and graphics.
The toolkit is available online at: https://www2.illinois.gov/hfs/Pages/AddressUpdateMessagingToolkit.aspx
Please distribute these messages far and wide to reach as many Medicaid customers as possible. Print the flyers, post on social media, use the phone scripts, add messaging to your landing pages, and include the text in your newsletters or email blasts. Repetition is key to adoption, so please send these messages multiple times.
If providers are in touch with other organizations or groups whose audiences include people who use Medicaid, please send this toolkit to them and ask them to distribute these messages as well.
Download the toolkit
Global Messages for Address Updates
Providers are welcome to adapt this messaging as you conduct your outreach. Keep in mind, research has shown that getting into too much detail about the PHE is counterproductive to the effectiveness of using these messages to get updated addresses.
These are the key messages in the messaging toolkit:
- Medicaid members! Don't risk losing your health insurance. Update your address with Illinois Medicaid.
- Illinois Medicaid needs to send you paperwork. To keep your health insurance, use an address where mail can always reach you.
- Updating your address is easy, fast, and free. Call 877-805-5312 from 7:45am–4:30pm or visit www2.illinois.gov/hfs/address. If you use a TTY, call 1-877-204-1012.
The phrasing, content, and tone of these messages were developed with thanks to State Health and Value Strategies, the National Association of Medicaid Directors, GMMB, and valuable feedback from members of the Public Education Subcommittee of the Illinois Medicaid Advisory Committee.
For More Information
If you have questions about the use of this toolkit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly Cunningham, Administrator
Division of Medical Programs