According to WBEZ, recent changes in guidelines for Illinois’s All Kids health program as of July 1, 2012 will result in 4,300 children no longer being eligible for medical coverage. Under the revised guidelines, families whose income is more than 300% above the federal poverty guidelines, who are currently eligible for All Kids coverage, will no longer be eligible for coverage.
All Kids is primarily a health program that provides coverage for children whose family’s incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid, but who do not have access to health insurance through their employers. While President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will eventually provide coverage for this sector of the Illinois population beginning in 2014, coverage under All Kids ran out as of July 1st, leaving a gap of approximately 18 months before coverage will become available for many of these children.
The tightening of All Kids program guidelines comes as Illinois seeks ways to stabilize its well-publicized budget crisis. With a current Medicaid budget of about $14 billion, of which All Kids comprises $75 million, Governor Pat Quinn is looking to shrink that portion of the state’s budget by approximately $2.7 billion. While cutting eligibility for the All Kids program will not completely achieve that goal, by removing approximately 4,300 kids from the state Medicaid rolls, it will result in substantial savings to the state Medicaid program.
Meanwhile, some advocates and legislators are working together to come up with reforms to the state Medicaid program that will both save costs and maintain at least some level of coverage until the federal health care plan goes into effect. Advocates and families are also looking for other resources to pay for costly medical care for these kids who as of right now, are largely uninsured.
Not only does this change in guidelines eligibility leave children without adequate health care coverage, but it places divorced parents in a difficult situation, as well. When a divorce decree requires a parent to maintain health insurance coverage, but that parent has no access to employer-sponsored health care coverage, or the cost of maintaining that coverage is simply cost-prohibitive, that parent risks being in violation of his or her court order. Failing to follow the mandates of a divorce decree or another type of court order can result in contempt of court charges or other court sanctions.
If you find yourself in this situation, you will need to consult with a qualified and experienced Naperville, Illinois divorce lawyer as quickly as possible, so as to avoid the negative repercussions that violating a court order can bring about.