Funds will boost the Administration’s continued efforts to provide Illinois with better and more efficient coordination of care

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CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) received a $1.3M federal grant that will be used to enhance consumer and healthcare provider outreach with a particular focus on parity in mental health & substance use disorder benefits and preventative health services.  Additionally, this grant will provide more resources for DOI health plan oversight and data analysis.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to further our Administration’s coordinated efforts on mental health,” Acting Director of DOI Anne Melissa Dowling said.  “We are always searching for opportunities to raise awareness that our Department is here to help Illinoisans.  These funds will help extend our outreach.”

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A portion of the grant will go to strengthening the Office of Consumer Health Insurance (OCHI) and improve data tracking and consumer complaint analysis. It will also help in increasing awareness of the internal and external appeals processes for health insurance consumers.  The grant will allow DOI to develop community-focused health insurance consumer education for Illinois residents.

Through this grant, DOI will work with health plans, consumers and providers to ensure that mental health parity compliance is understood and achieved.

Earlier this month, Governor Rauner announced the submission of a 1115 Medicaid waiver proposal to the federal government.  This waiver allows Illinois to use innovative health care strategies to build a behavioral health care system that offers integrated and comprehensive care focused on the whole person.  The waiver was developed from the collaboration between 12 state agencies and the Governor’s Office, as well as community partners and stakeholders. 

“I am committed to furthering this collaboration to achieve mental health parity in the commercial health care system by collaborating with my colleagues as well as with the provider community in Illinois,” said Dowling.

More information about the State’s 1115 Medicaid Waiver can be found here

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