SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - About 550,000 Medicaid health care clients in Illinois will be switched Sunday into managed-care health plans.
The program is called HealthChoice Illinois . Medicaid clients will see their health care handled by managed care organizations. The MCOs focus on prevention and health maintenance with an eye toward lower medical costs.
The state Department of Healthcare and Family Services has contracted with seven private MCOs. Medicaid clients have been alerted to enroll in one of five MCOs serving 72 counties new to the program.
Lawmakers have criticized the rollout of the $60 billion, four-year plan. Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago questions whether the managed-care operations have enlisted enough health care providers.
Kevin Stewart of the Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association has called on lawmakers to better regulate the MCOs' practices.
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