July 03, 2024

Duckworth, Durbin Applaud Federal Approval of Illinois Application for Medicaid 1115 Waiver

Approval of the waiver allows the State to bolster health programs aimed at addressing the opioid epidemic, violence prevention, homelessness, hunger and more


[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) applauded the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) approval of Illinois’ application for a Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver to enhance the delivery of behavioral health services for Medicaid beneficiaries across Illinois. The approval of the federal waiver accelerates efforts in Illinois to use the Medicaid program to address the opioid epidemic, maternal mortality, violence prevention, mental health challenges, homelessness, hunger and aligns with Durbin’s Chicago HEAL Initiative to break the cycle of violence.

In Illinois, more than three million individuals receive health insurance coverage through Medicaid. In February, Durbin and Duckworth sent CMS Director Chiquita Brooks-LaSure a letter expressing their support for Illinois’ application.

“Expanding the reach of Illinois’s health care network is key to making reliable behavioral health services more accessible to individuals across our state,” Duckworth said. “This action by CMS helps move our state forward and ensures that we’re helping bring essential health services to Medicaid beneficiaries across Illinois. I will keep working with Senator Durbin to make sure that all Illinois patients and Medicare beneficiaries have access to affordable, reliable health care.” 

“This news means more patients all across Illinois will have increased access to essential behavioral health services,” said Durbin. “The State’s waiver builds upon existing efforts to enhance the delivery of targeted services to the most vulnerable populations—which holds the promise of reducing health care costs and improving health care outcomes. This announcement will propel these existing efforts forward and harness innovative, community-driven solutions to help Medicaid beneficiaries across Illinois improve their health and wellbeing.”