More than 43,000 uninsured children and pregnant women in Illinois will be eligible for Medicaid benefits because of the federal balanced-budget law enacted this summer.
The law created a block grant program for states that want to expand healthcare coverage for children.
Under the program, Illinois will receive $620 million over the next five years for its new Children's Health Initiative. The initiative will extend Medicaid benefits to uninsured children and pregnant women from households with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level. An estimated 40,400 uninsured children and 2,900 pregnant women not currently covered by Medicaid will be eligible.
Effective Jan. 5, 1998, Medicaid benefits will be extended to pregnant women and their infants, up to age 1, with household incomes of $26,664. The federal poverty level for a family of three is $13,332.
Coverage also includes uninsured children ages 1 though 18 who come from a household with an annual income of up to 133% of the poverty level. At 133%, the level is $17,732.