The Illinois Guardianship Association is pleased to announce that our membership is rapidly increasing due to the new and improved website. I thank all new and renewing members for your interest in our organization and the information we provide.
Our new fiscal year begins May 1, and we will be sending out membership renewal reminders. Last year we added the agency/organization membership category where for $1500, up to 40 staff can become members. All other categories of membership remain the same. The IGA has not raised its membership fees for several years because our membership growth has allowed us to continue providing quality, free education and training, which is one of the primary functions of IGA.
Every year we hold our annual meeting and conference alternating between Springfield and Chicago. This year it will be in Chicago on June 7, at the Cook County Public Guardians’ Office, the George W. Dunne Building, 69 W. Washington Street. Check-in will begin at 8:30 am, and the annual meeting and conference will follow from 9:00 to 4:00. Prior to that date, members will receive email information regarding the program for the conference and a ballot to return your vote for IGA Officers for the 2023/24 year.
We have been fortunate to welcome two new Board members this spring to fill unexpired vacancies: Karen Kloppe, and Tom Brennan. They are both great additions to the Board. Also, three of our general members have volunteered to join the IGA Continuing Education Committee: Allen James, Derick Cummins, and Deborah Rose. I encourage all our members to consider volunteering as a Board member or committee member. We currently need additional members on our website committee so please consider joining us and helping promote our organization on the IGA website, illinoisguardianship.org!
Kathy Eddy, President
Illinois Guardianship Association
Unwinding of the Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
By: Karen Kloppe, Legal Assistance Developer
Illinois Department on Aging
Work is underway to unwind the flexibilities and protections that were put in place during the pandemic under various public benefit programs now that the federal COVID-19 public health emergency will end on May 11, 2023. See What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access | KFF.
In Illinois, enrollment in Medicaid grew by about one million people during the pandemic, and it is expected that some 32,000 people will lose coverage during each month of the 12-month “unwinding” period. While a significant number may no longer meet eligibility requirements, fears exist many will simply not understand that the formal Medicaid renewal process has once again become operational. See: Illinois Medicaid and the end of continous coverage | HFS and https://www.healthinsurance.org/medicaid/illinois/.
It is vitally important for advocates in the aging and disability networks to be prepared to help individuals and their caregivers or family and friends avoid erroneous eligibility redetermination decisions.
1. Verify that contact information (i.e., mailing address, phone number, email, etc.) for a program participant (and any authorized representation) is up to date.
• Call Illinois Medicaid: 1-800-843-6154 or 1-800-447-6404 (TTY) between 8:30 a.m. and 5
p.m. Monday through Friday (except state holidays).
• Log in and click “Manage My Case” on the ABE site at https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/
or visit medicaid.illinois.gov.
• Report a change of address at Report Medicaid Change of Address · Custom Portal (dynamics365portals.us).
Remember, it may be helpful to also report a change of address with other entities:
• For postal deliveries by the U. S. Postal Service at Official Change of Address Form - United States Postal Service.
• For online voting registration through the State Board of Elections at
• For drivers licenses or State Identification Cards through the Secretary of State at
Note: The state is encouraging people to use the online renewal whenever possible.
2. Check mail regularly for communications from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (the state Medicaid agency).
May 2023 will be the first time anyone with Medicaid will get a renewal notice in the mail. Mailings will start with people whose coverage is due for renewal by June 1 (approximately one month before the due date) and continue on a rolling basis throughout the year.
• This notice will indicate whether a person needs to complete a renewal form.
• Consider whether there have been any changes in eligibility requirements such as age, disability status, household size, and/or assets/income/expenses (see https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1628).
• Check for any decline in the individual’s ability to independently carry out both activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living (personal needs).
3. Complete and send in the renewal form (if applicable) in a timely manner. Be sure to follow the directions by answering all questions, signing the notice as indicated, and attaching any requested “proofs” (information to determine Medicaid eligibility) before returning this paperwork by mail, fax, or online through “Manage My Case” on the ABE site (see https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/). A notice of decision will be sent to document whether the person is eligible, or approved, for Medicaid.
• The completed paperwork must be returned within 30 days. Doing so will ensure that Medicaid coverage will continue unchanged until a review is completed; if not, coverage will automatically be cancelled, and medical benefits will end for the person, effective July 1, 2023.
• There is a 90-day reinstatement period if medical coverage is canceled because the renewal form paperwork is not returned by the deadline.
• Anyone who is no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage will receive information about appeal rights (see https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=32119) and how to find alternative health insurance options.
4. If Medicaid coverage is ending, visit getcoveredillinois.gov, the official Illinois Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange/market place, or HealthCare.gov as soon as possible to minimize the risk of a gap in coverage. For additional assistance, call the Marketplace Call Center at 1- 800-318-2596 or 1-855-889-4325 (TTY).
There is an extended 16-month enrollment window for people who lose Medicaid during the “unwinding” period. See temp-sep-unwinding-faq.pdf (cms.gov).
For those now eligible for Medicare, there is also a special enrollment period during which people can transition without late enrollment penalties. See https://www.cms.gov/technical- assistance-resources/temp-sep-unwinding-faq.pdf.
SUPREME COURT ELDER LAW COMMISSION TO HOST LISTENING SESSIONS
The aging of the baby boom generation has made Elder Law one of the fastest growing areas for state courts. As a result, in April of 2022 the Supreme Court announced its establishment of a multidisciplinary Elder Law Commission to study ways in which state courts can better serve the needs of those in advancing years.
Chicago attorney Kerry R. Peck serves as the first Chair of the Commission with Justice Joy V. Cunningham appointed to serve as the Supreme Court Liaison to the Commission.
As the Commission effectuates its charge to address a variety of legal issues confronted by seniors throughout Illinois, a series of Listening Sessions are under development.
Through the Listening Sessions, the Commission aims to collect experiential information from anybody with a close working connection to our aging population, including but not limited to elder law practitioners, attorneys, justice professionals, guardians, healthcare/social service professionals, caregivers, and family members.
Attendees are requested to come prepared to discuss and share experiences and efforts that will inform the Commission’s ongoing activities and opportunities to enhance the experience of senior court users, elder law practitioners, and the Illinois Courts. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits are not available for attending or participating in these events.
The first two Listening Sessions are scheduled as follows with future Sessions under development in the middle and southern parts of the state (Register here):
April 25, 2023 from 2-4 p.m. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Simpson Querrey Auditorium 303 E Superior, 1st Floor
Chicago, IL 60611
June 1, 2023 from 2-4 p.m. Kane County Branch Court 530 S. Randall Road
St. Charles, IL 60174
(FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Scott Block, Statewide Behavioral Health Administrator, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts at 312.793.1876 or firstname.lastname@example.org