Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Cook County misses ambitious goals for Medicaid expansion

Friday, June 28, 2013
Crain's Chicago Business
by Andrew L. Wang

The Medicaid expansion is helping Cook County's budget, but not nearly as much as Board President Toni Preckwinkle had predicted.

The county is projected to pull in just $122 million during the current fiscal year because of the expansion, missing by about a third its ambitious goal of raking in $197 million from the health care program for the poor, according to a budget report issued yesterday by Ms. Preckwinkle.

Despite the shortfall, the expansion is expected to have a net positive effect of $28 million on the budget, after $94 million in implementation expenses. Still, it won't be enough to erase an expected $18 million deficit in the county's nearly $2.26 billion general fund for the current fiscal year, which ends Nov. 30.

In fiscal 2014, Ms. Preckwinkle is expecting the Medicaid expansion will provide a $74 million net boost to the county's budget. Despite the additional funding, she must still close a 2014 budget gap that is currently estimated to top $152 million.

CountyCare is a key part of Cook County Health and Hospitals System CEO Ramanathan Raju's plan to reduce taxpayers' subsidy of the financially challenged public health care network.

Dr. Raju set a lofty goal of enrolling 115,000 people in CountyCare during the year. Instead, the county has submitted 42,000 applications to the Illinois Department of Human Services with about 16,000 new beneficiaries approved and enrolled, he said in an interview. The county started recruiting patients in February.

He says the flow of new applications to CountyCare is a better indicator of the progress of the one-year program than the number of approvals, which are subject to delays as applications wend their way through the state approval process.

Counting applications, the county is exceeding expectations, he said, having collected 71,000 applications in the first six months. The county can collect applications until Dec. 31, when the program is set to end. CountyCare will be paid for beneficiaries from the date of application, even if they are enrolled months later.

“We will get 115,000 in the queue” before Dec. 31, Dr. Raju said. “What you are seeing is the lag in the ability to get the approval.”

“The program itself is a smashing success,” he added. “I'm not missing the goal.”

The county expects to receive 47,000 approved applications by the end of the fiscal year and say they are using a “conservative” 56,000 enrollment estimate for 2014.

Reaching full enrollment is likely to be a tall order. The county will be helped indirectly in coming months as the Quinn administration ramps up its marketing and education campaigns for the state's health insurance marketplace. The promotional effort is intended to raise awareness among the uninsured about the options for health coverage ahead of Oct. 1, when open enrollment begins on the joint federal-state benefits exchange.

More people will likely enroll in CountyCare as they become aware of the need for coverage, said Barbara Otto, CEO of Chicago-based Health & Disability Advocates, a nonprofit group. The uncertainty for the county, she added, was whether the state can process applications fast enough.

“The biggest challenge for the county is how shored up is the state's infrastructure,” she added. “Is the state going to be able to process applications in a timely fashion?”

Despite the obstacles, the county's enrollment goal is “within reach,” she said.

To reduce the backlog, the state is committing more manpower to processing applications, doubling to 100 the staff for the work this month, county officials said.

During fiscal 2013, positive reimbursement rate adjustments and a boost in federal payments for having a disproportionate share of indigent patients are helping drive up the county health system's revenues from patient fees and reimbursements to $549 million, $35 million more than budgeted. Next year, however, patient revenue is expected to fall 7.5 percent, to $508 million.

But that drop is projected to be at least partially offset by a sharp rise in revenue from CountyCare, which is estimated to nearly double, to $356.2 million in fiscal 2014, up from the $122 million estimate in fiscal 2013.

CountyCare is expected to provide a $74 million net positive impact to the county's overall budget next year, even after factoring in the program's increased expenses of $85.3 million.



Recent Headlines

Northfield woman’s plea prompts assessor’s relief for floodplain homeowners
Friday, September 20, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

When we lose 29% of our birds, we are doing something terribly wrong
Friday, September 20, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Why is Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi belatedly lowering property taxes for some New Trier homes?
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail’s book limit ruled as proper
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Chicago Daily law Bulletin

Prisoner escapes from Chicago police custody en route to Cook County Jail
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

County clerk’s office needs federal oversight
Monday, September 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

City Club of Chicago: Toni Preckwinkle – Advancing Racial Equity in Cook County
Monday, September 16, 2019
WGN Radio

Choosing Cook County judges, Justice Ginsburg reminds us, should not be a popularity contest
Monday, September 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx interested, wary of working with Trump White House on criminal justice reform
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Is Clerk Karen Yarbrough ‘best official’ in county — or is patronage hiring flap only ‘tip of the iceberg’?
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A secret vote will choose Cook County’s next judicial chief. A $270 million budget, thousands of employees, and the future of a huge court system are at stake.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Evans Faces Challenge Thursday For Position As Cook County Chief Judge
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Cook County Health's John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Receives $5M Federal Grant to Support Cancer Research
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Forest Preserves Might Pitch Property Tax Hike To Voters
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Column: Ethically, Todd Ricketts owes Cook County six more years of property taxes on his Wilmette house. He should pay up.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Watchdog accuses County Clerk Karen Yarbrough of running ‘illegal patronage’ operation, wants court oversight
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Prosecutors Decline To File Charges In About 1 In Every 5 Murder Cases
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Maps Story of Opioid Epidemic with New Website
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ News

Slow refund checks for Water Tower residents—including the county treasurer—lead to proposed fee
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Criminal history vs. compassion? County debate over role of rap sheets in rental decisions
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP