Health

Medicaid Covers More than 50 Percent Of Births In Illinois

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In 2009, Illinois’ Medicaid program covered 54 percent of births, and state officials hope to avoid cutting the maternity benefits as they consider where to cut $2.7 billion from Medicaid. Illinois goes above federal requirements to cover pregnant women who make up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level and pregnant teenagers who make up to 300 percent of federal poverty. And a new federal requirement prevents states from lowering the Medicaid income ceilings for pregnant women and other groups. Mike Claffey, spokesman for the state Healthcare and Family Services department, said that for these reasons, “eligibility for pregnant women is not on the table” for Medicaid cuts.