Governor to File Federal Waiver to Expand Medicaid Coverage During COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 14, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that his administration will file a federal waiver to expand Medicaid coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the waiver is approved, Illinois will expand its Medicaid services by providing additional medical providers and increased access to medical services.

In a press release issued by the Governor’s office, his administration began work on the filing of this Medicaid expansion waiver as soon as the federal government declared national state of emergency and activated the Stafford Act.

“With the federal government’s newly declared state of emergency, under the Stafford Act my administration is filing a request for a federal waiver to allow our Medicaid program to more freely respond to the COVID-19 crisis by expanding medical services,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “During this crisis my administration is working to ensure that those who fear that they may be getting sick have access to the testing and treatment that they need without being saddled with costly medical bills for their care.”

As of March 15, the Illinois Department of Health is reporting 93 cases of COVID-19 in 13 Illinois counties. Symptoms of COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Those experiencing symptoms should call a health care provider who will help arrange medical treatment without putting others at risk of exposure.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has a statewide COVID-19 hotline and website to answer any questions from the public or to report a suspected case: call 1-800-889-3931 or visit

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