Medicaid providers encouraged to apply for CARES funds

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Information provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (October 23, 2020) – Following the Pritzker administration’s announcement of $140 million in CARES payments to Medicaid providers, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) is encouraging Medicaid providers to apply for the second round of funding through its HFS CARES Portal before the deadline of October 31, 2020.

“Although we’ve received hundreds of applications for funding, we know there are providers out there that still haven’t started an application,” said Theresa Eagleson, HFS Director. “This pandemic has magnified inequities in our health system, and we especially want our community partners in disproportionately impacted areas to apply.”

Earlier this year, the Illinois General Assembly appropriated funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to HFS to distribute to Illinois Medicaid providers. To help providers apply for and receive this money, HFS created a streamlined portal at CARESapp.hfs.illinois.gov.

The portal is open from September 29, 2020 through noon on Saturday October 31, 2020. Providers are advised not to wait until the last minute because it may take significant time to gather the information required for an application.

CARES payments can be used to offset unexpected costs incurred due to COVID-19. Examples include expenses related to providing PPE for employees or customers, deep cleaning services, payroll expenses for hazard pay, and other healthcare supplies. CARES payments cannot be used to replace lost revenue, but can be used for the reimbursement of regular costs, such as rent and utilities, that providers are having trouble covering because of lost revenue due to unexpected lower utilizations as a result of the pandemic. The payments may be applied to eligible expenses from March 1 to December 30, 2020.

Providers who have already received funding from other state and federal sources are still eligible for these payments. HFS will consider the other funds received when determining payment award amounts.

For help with applications, providers can email [email protected] or call 866-385-0600 from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call center support is available in English and Spanish.

Additional resources for providers may be found below:

HFS CARES Portal: https://caresapp.hfs.illinois.gov/

HFS CARES Website: https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/Pages/CARESUpdatePage.aspx

Supporting Documents

• Frequently Asked Questions
• Frequently Asked Questions Walkthrough
• CARES Act Distributions for Medicaid Providers Summary and Implementation Overview (pdf)
• CARES Portal Video Walkthrough
• CARES Round I Budget Template (xls)

Provider Notices

• 2020-10-09 Provider Notice – CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund Budget Guidance and Instructions
• 2020-09-29 Provider Notice – HFS CARES Portal is Open for Funding Applications
• 2020-09-28 Provider Notice – CARES Act Funding – Round 1 Distribution to LTC Providers
• 2020-09-15 Provider Notice – First Round Distribution of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funds Appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly

Treasury Guidance: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/state-and-local-governments