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Illinois Gets Approval for Behavioral Health Initiative

May 08, 2018 - 9:02 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The federal government is giving Illinois the go-ahead to launch a $2 billion behavioral health initiative.

Governor Bruce Rauner says the Better Care Illinois program will make the state a national leader in health services. He says it'll focus on preventative and community based care for all ages.

“This is going to benefit 16-year-olds who are suffering from, perhaps, bi-polar disorder or other mental illness, who also may be suffering from addiction issues. This is also going to help veterans in the state of Illinois who may be suffering from PTSD,” he says.

The federal waiver allows the state to use Medicaid money for ten pilot programs, many of which address mental illness and substance abuse. The waiver expires in five years but can be renewed.