Illinois continues to have conversations with its federal partners regarding proposed changes to its 1115 waiver for behavioral health services.

Medicaid Administrator Kelly Cunningham told members of the Medicaid Advisory Committee earlier this month that they expect to “kick off formal negotiations” over the proposal early next year.

“Our work right now is really centered around beginning the implementation planning process, including developing our plans for stakeholder engagement,” Cunningham said.

The five-year extension application submitted this summer to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposes 10 programs, including efforts to address food and nutrition services, employment assistance, non-medical transportation and community reintegration for previously incarcerated individuals.

In other business, Department of Healthcare and Family Services Chief of Staff Ben Winick said they are prepared to begin moving those in the state program that provides Medicaid-like coverage for undocumented individuals to managed care starting Jan. 1. The process will be phased in over four months, he said.

Additionally, Winick said negotiations are ongoing with pharmaceutical manufacturers on potential rebates in the program.

No update was provided on when enrollment may resume for the program, which HFS has paused since the summer for new enrollees between 42 and 64 years old. The state agency paused enrollment for those 65 and older earlier this month.

Cunningham also told committee members that they have applied to take part in a new federal technical assistance program to improve collaboration and coordination between organizations and systems that provide housing-related support and services for Medicaid-eligible people. She said such programs are often helpful with connecting members of state government and provider agencies with subject matter experts.

Four states are expected to be chosen, she said.