What we can learn about Medicaid expansion on Oct. 1 from Cook County pilot

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If a pilot program in Cook County is any indication, getting people to enroll in Medicaid come Oct. 1 — when newly eligible Illinoisans will be able to apply — is very possible. But they’re likely to be predominantly older and unhealthy when they apply.

Those are among the key things that CountyCare –which allows a broader population in Cook County to apply for Medicaid — sheds light on, in terms of what we may be able to expect.

CountyCare offers Medicaid to anyone who is between 19 and 64 in Cook County, makes less than roughly $15,860 for an individual and is a U.S. citizen or has been a legal immigrant for at least five years.

A bill that was signed by Gov. Quinn in July would extend the same right to all Illinoisans in January. Those eligible will be able to enroll starting Oct. 1.

Medicaid used to be available only to low-income adults if they had children, were adults with disabilities or senior citizens.

Read more here.

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