The deadline is approaching for Illinois Medicaid recipients who need to change their plan.
A plan developed by the legislature in 2014 requires Medicaid recipients have their benefits handled by a managed care organization to reduce costs. Adults covered by Medicare who have not already chosen a plan manager have been assigned to to an MCO.
But the assigned MCOs don’t work for everyone. Some individuals may find they have been assigned to a plan that doesn’t cover the prescriptions or doctors they need.
Many southern Illinoisans have been assigned MCOs that may not cover local providers, instead requiring them to drive long distances to find a provider. Harmony, for example, is not accepted by SIH in Carbondale.
Those wishing to change their plan have until the end of the month to do so. After that, they will be unable to change MCOs until next year.
Participants may change their plan online or by calling health and human services at 877–912–8880.
Alicia Coates, case manager at Shawnee Health Services, says that callers may experience long waits but it's important to stay on the line.
“If you’re going to call the HHS call number it’s 877-912-8880, it’s going to be a long call time,” she said. “You probably will have to wait but please be patient so that they can switch you in due time.”
Patients having trouble changing their plan can also contact Shawnee Health Services for assistance.