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Illinois Increases Reproductive Health Care Funding for Providers and Clinics

SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) – Governor JB Pritzker is increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates for abortion providers by 20% starting Sept. 1. prohibit abortion.

The governor continues to emphasize that abortion is health care and that Illinois will trust women to make their own decisions. This price increase will allow providers to recover more costs and allow abortion clinics to provide more care without additional financial barriers. The Pritzker administration said this increase in Medicaid reimbursement will cost the state $3 million a year.

Pritzker also eliminates the requirement for providers to receive a Medicare denial before seeking Medicaid payments. He said eliminating this bureaucracy would help suppliers receive payments faster. Illinois is one of 16 states to require Medicaid to cover abortion services. The Illinois Department of Health and Family Services works with managed care organizations to obtain information about coverage for abortion services in Medicaid member handbooks. Managed Care in Illinois is also required to answer questions people may have about abortion insurance coverage.

“No matter how badly other states treat women and their bodily autonomy, as long as I serve as Governor of Illinois, we will continue to protect and support reproductive health care providers and safeguard reproductive freedoms,” said said Pritzker.

The governor also announced that the Illinois Department of Public Health is expanding the state’s family planning program with $2 million in grants for providers. Title X services have helped more than 150,000 low-income patients over the past two years. There are 98 family planning clinics offering Title X services in Illinois.

The state joined the federal Title X program earlier this year after the Biden administration repealed a Trump administration law barring recipients from referring patients to abortion services. While Title X funding could not be used for abortion care, Illinois declined to participate and filled the funding void with money from the General Revenue Fund. Pritzker said the $2 million investment is in addition to $5.8 million in existing government funding and $5.4 million in federal funding from HHS.

“This additional investment means more Illinoisans will receive quality, accessible family planning services like pregnancy testing, basic fertility services, STD testing, and cancer screenings,” Pritzker explained.

The ACLU of Illinois said it hopes to see an increase in the reimbursement rate provided by the Illinois Medicaid system for abortion providers. The organization said increased resources mean increased access.

As states surrounding Illinois continue to cruelly ban abortion care, we applaud Governor Pritzker’s decision to increase resources for essential reproductive health care,” the ACLU said.

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after President Joe Biden signed an executive order to help low-income patients pay for abortion services if they must travel outside their home state. Medicaid will cover provider and clinic costs for anyone seeking procedures in “abortion havens” like Illinois.

“Without meaningful access, we can’t describe anything as a right,” Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) said. “This week’s announcement of improved access for patients who cannot afford abortion care is critically important. I am so proud to work with Governor Pritzker and our pro-choice majority in Illinois to protect and increase access to reproductive health services for both residents and incoming patients from restrictive states.

Meanwhile, Illinois Right to Life says women don’t need more help getting abortions. Executive Director Amy Gehrke said Biden’s executive order would only help Pritzker in his quest to make Illinois the most abortion-friendly state in the nation. The pro-life organization said women in Illinois need more resources that really give them choices during unplanned pregnancies.

“They need practical resources such as nappies, food, health care and counselling. We know that 60% of women feel compelled to have an abortion without really wanting to,” Gehrke said. “They need to know that help is available to help them choose life for their children.”

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