IAFCC Statement in Response to HBIA/HBIS Pause
With the emergency rules enacted in Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults/Seniors coverage to include the pause on enrolling individuals who are undocumented ages 42- 64, it is critical to note that Illinois Free and Charitable Clinics, located in communities around the state, are poised and ready to provide health care for anyone, regardless of immigration status. The Illinois Free and Charitable Clinics are the trusted health care provider for the uninsured and underinsured; providing medical, behavioral health, dental and pharmacy services. The clinics supply quality health care and have a robust, passionate team of health care providers who create safe and welcoming spaces for all. Historically, the clinics have provided health care to people who are new to the state and those that have resided in Illinois for some time—many being undocumented individuals.
The Illinois Association for Free and Charitable Clinics also raises concerns about Medicaid redetermination and how that will affect those already enrolled in HBIA/HBIS. If HBIA/HBIS policy holders lose their coverage during the redetermination process, they may find themselves unable to re-enroll due to the enrollment pause. The clinics stand firm in their ability and desire to aid those in need of care throughout the state.
To find a health care provider please visit the IAFCC clinic directory
June 7, 2023 – IAFCC Statement on FY24 Budget Session Closing
from Chair Jeffrey Task and Executive Director Melissa Maguire
The Illinois Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (IAFCC) appreciates the serious deliberation and difficult decisions made by the Illinois General Assembly in crafting a budget that is supportive of the populations our 52 clinics serve. As a critical part of the Illinois health
care safety net, the IAFCC clinics are dedicated to providing free, comprehensive, high quality, health care to the uninsured and underinsured through mostly donated resources. Due to the support provided by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and the members of the General Assembly, the IAFCC was able to distribute nearly $9 million from a first ever State of Illinois appropriation in the current State Fiscal Year to serve a population of Illinois residents in which 100 percent live below the federal poverty level through an estimated 100,000 patient visits that saved Illinois hospitals more than $33 million in emergency room visits, over $20 million in value of donated care for a total of over $53 million. The small investment in the clinics goes along way.
For the upcoming fiscal year, the IAFCC asked for continued funding of $9 million and were appropriated $4 million. With recognition of the tough decisions that were made to make this budget balanced and compassionate, the IAFCC is grateful for the amount received. Thanks to Governor Pritzker signing off on a new $4 million IAFCC appropriation for the upcoming State Fiscal Year, the members of the IAFCC will continue to serve traditional patients while continuing to prioritize helping the state in two key areas – migrant health care and Medicaid redetermination.
IAFCC member clinics and the professionals who work with those clinics have been on the front lines in terms of leadership and direct service provision in helping Illinois address what is now a migrant/refugee health care crisis in our state. Because of constraints placed on other members of the Illinois healthcare safety net, the IAFCC clinics are uniquely positioned to provide direct
patient care that other institutions cannot. During the pandemic, we were active in assisting people in accessing the temporarily emergency Medicaid benefits. But with the sunsetting of those benefits and Medicaid redetermination, we are once again prepared to provide healthcare for those people found not eligible and will be monitoring how we can help them receive benefits from the new Illinois Health Exchange that was approved in this last legislative session.
In closing, the IAFCC expresses deep gratitude to our champions State Senator Karina Villa, Leader Theresa Mah, and Senator Celina Villanueva who continue to be fierce advocates of free and charitable clinics. We would also like to give sincere appreciation to the supporters who co-sponsored our legislation and uplifted the needs of the clinics: (in no particular order) Senator Javier L. Cervantes, Senator Laura Fine, Senator Robert Peters, Senator Mike Simmons, Senator Ram Villivalam, Representative Will Guzzardi, Leader Barbara Hernandez, Representative Lindsey LaPointe, Representative Dagmara Avelar, Representative Matt Hanson, Representative Kevin John Olickal, Representative Kelly M. Cassidy, Representative Diane Blair-Sherlock and Representative Jenn Ladisch Douglass. Without their unwavering support, uninsured and underinsured Illinois residents and migrants to Illinois would suffer.
May 25, 2023 – Free and Charitable Clinics receive first ever funding from state to provide care to uninsured and underinsured Illinois residents
On Saturday, March 25, the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics received its first grant from the state of Illinois, hand-delivered by Comptroller Susana Mendoza at Aurora Christian Health Center, 615 S. Broadway, Aurora, Ill., at 9:30 a.m. Free and Charitable Clinic advocates and supporters, Senator Karina Villa, Representative Theresa Mah, Representative Dagmara Avelar, Representative Matt Hanson, and Representative Barbara Hernandez, were all in attendance and spoke on behalf of the importance of these funds.Saturday’s check presentation marked the release of the first half of the $9,000,000 granted to the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics which is to be dispersed among clinics across the state of Illinois. Comptroller Mendoza led the discussion and ended the remarks in reassuring, “Every penny of this is going to be invested in people…every penny we spend on these Illinoisans is going to keep them out of the emergency room which means that this is truly is an investment, not just in the people that [free and charitable clinics] serve, but the taxpayers… I can attest, as the Comptroller, that this is truly a wise investment”.
February 16, 2023 – IAFCC Response to the Governor’s Address
To read the entire press releases as well as view pictures and events from the event, visit our Advocacy and Policy Page
On February 15, 2023 – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker gave his fifth State of the State address outlining his budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. To read or listen to the speech, visit our Advocacy and Policy Page.
“The Illinois Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (IAFCC) applauds and unites with Governor Pritzker on his support for healthcare workers. For many years, free and charitable clinics across the state of Illinois, have provided essential healthcare to those most in need; those who often fall through the cracks of our healthcare system”, said Jeffrey Trask, Board Chair of IAFCC, and Founder and CEO of Champaign County Christian Health Care Center. In last year’s Illinois General Assembly Budget Session, the IAFCC received its first ever Illinois State appropriation. The $9 million allocation is currently being used to provide support to IAFCC’s member clinics’ in assisting uninsured and underinsured people living with acute and chronic health issues through medical care, outreach, health education, screening and testing, oral health care and behavioral health services. IAFCC Executive Director Melissa Maguire added, “We hope that the General Assembly supports Governor Pritzker’s proposed initiatives related to food security, homelessness, reproductive health, and behavioral health which greatly impact the populations that our clinics serve”.
To read IAFCC’s entire response to the Governor’s State of the State Address, visit the Advocacy and Policy page.