The state of Illinois has a lot to be proud of. It’s the home of Abe Lincoln, the first ever McDonalds restaurant, and the world’s first sky skyscraper.
However, recent news and data have uncovered some disconcerting truths about the state of Illinois health insurance and health care. Let’s put it into focus.
Medicaid in Illinois
- About 2.7 million people received comprehensive Medicaid benefits in Illinois last year. This number spiked due the massive amount of people who lost their jobs or employee-sponsored health insurance due to the recession.
- The majority of recipients are children from low-income families, but the elderly account for the bulk of Medicaid costs.
- The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which administers the Medicaid program, has a total medical assistance budget of $14.2 billion. Aggressive initiatives are in the works to cut this budget down.
- The Illinois Medicaid system is backed up considerably, with hospitals waiting several months for payback from Medicaid services.
How Healthy is Illinois?
The overall health of the state could definitely be better. Take a look at the following statistics:
- Around 19 percent of adults under the age of 65 are without health insurance.
- About 13 percent of adults could not see a doctor in the past year due to cost.
- The adult obesity rate is steady at 27 percent.
How Healthy is Chicago?
It’s a world class city and the third largest in the country, but how does Chicago measure up in the health care department? It appears they are at the bottom of the list.
- Out of 306 healthcare markets nationwide, Chicago ranks 215th, according to a recent report by Commonwealth Fund, a health care research foundation based in New York.
- 92.2 percent of Chicago patients hospitalized for pneumonia received recommended care, below the national median of 96.9 percent.
- Nearly 25 percent of all Medicare patients in Chicago are readmitted to the hospital with 30 days, well above the national median of 17.7 percent.
- Average Medicare payment per patient is $10,334 (nearly 30 percent more than the national average).
- Average commercial health insurance payment per patient is $3,700 (nearly 12 percent more than the national average).
- Chicago ranked behind the following cities: Boston (41), Philadelphia (101), Manhattan (127), and Detroit (189)