June 10, 2020
Governor J.B. Pritzker today signed into law a $42.9 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 General Funds operating budget (SB 264/PA101-0637, HB357/PA101-0636) that maintains funding for critical programs, such as education, health care, and human services while advocating for a national program to support state and local governments. SB2099/PA101-0630, providing authorization for Illinois to directly access the Federal Reserve Bank's Municipal Liquidity Facility program, was signed May 29. The new state budget takes effect July 1.
"Since taking office, my administration has prioritized effective and efficient government as we've worked to undo years of financial mismanagement while rebuilding our hollowed out state government," said Gov. Pritzker. "The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the enormous role government plays in keeping communities safe and providing the tools people need to build better lives. While the pandemic has had a devastating impact on our state revenues, investing in our people will allow the state to rebound and recover from this pandemic as we safely re-open. I will continue to advocate for a national program to support state and local governments to make up the difference in the revenues that fund vital services like hospitals and salaries for teachers and first responders."
Key healthcare related provisions of the state budget include:
The FY2021 state budget – with no Medicaid cuts – includes a new Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (CURE) fund in response to the likely ongoing expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, appropriating $1.5 billion to a number of agencies.
- The Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) received approximately $830 million in appropriation authority from the fund to reimburse expenses incurred by providers during the crisis.
- The legislation notes that there are disproportionately impacted areas of the state, based on COVID-19 cases, and these areas will receive special consideration in allocations from the fund.
- The CURE funding is in addition to HFS’ standard operating budget, which was slightly increased by approximately $430 million over last year’s General Revenue Fund budget and contains no eligibility, service or rate reductions.
The package also contains several notable supplemental appropriations by either increasing or creating appropriation authority in the current fiscal year to numerous agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Additional funding for the Department on Aging for home services and meals, and for relief funding for schools;
- The Dept. of Public Health received more than $277 million in additional FY2020 appropriation for expenses related to testing and other services performed by local health providers, as well as $200 million to develop contact tracing and testing; and
- HFS received a $382 million increase in its FY 2020 budget.
- New Section 5-5.7a of the Public Aid Code requires HFS, in accordance with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, to develop a process and basis to distribute pandemic related stability payments, from federal sources dedicated for such purposes, to health care providers that are providing care to Medicaid beneficiaries.
- Federal sources dedicated to pandemic related payments include, but are not limited to, funds distributed to Illinois from the Coronavirus Relief Fund pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act").
- Pandemic related stability payments for these providers shall be separate and apart from any other Medicaid rate methodology.
- Payments shall be exclusively used for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Pandemic related stability payments will be distributed based on a schedule and framework to be established by the Department with recognition of the pandemic related acuity of the situation for each provider, taking into account factors including, but not limited to, the impact on patients and staff, shortages of PPE, a high number of patients or staff with COVID-19, increased staffing and equipment costs and reductions in revenue.
- Of the payments provided for by this section, a minimum of 30% shall be allotted for health care providers that serve the ZIP codes located in the most disproportionately impacted areas of Illinois, based on positive COVID-19 cases based on data collected by the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.