SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) – Governor JB Pritzker and the Department of Health and Family Services (HFS) on Monday announced the launch of the All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, program to serve the aging population of the ‘Illinois.
The new program was announced at the State Fair on Senior Day, where Illinois ages 60 and older are admitted free all day Aug. 15.
According to Pritzker and DHS, PACE expands community health care options and provides an alternative to traditional nursing care facilities, allowing seniors to live safely at home. It is expected to begin serving Illinois seniors in fiscal year 2024.
Adults over age 55 who are both Medicaid and Medicare eligible and who live in a PACE service area will be eligible to participate in PACE. The program will be tailored to provide necessary medical care and social services to adults who are eligible for nursing home care but are able to continue living in their community.
“Here in Illinois, we recognize that our seniors thrive when they remain in our communities as they age,” Governor JB Pritzker said. “The PACE program is an innovative model that provides a much-needed alternative to traditional nursing home care. This program will not only help our seniors, it will also help entire families by giving them the support they need to keep their family units together.
Peoria is one of five select PACE service areas in the state, along with West Chicago, South Chicago, Southern Cook County and East St. Louis. OSF Healthcare System will serve PACE seniors in Peoria.
“PACE will create a holistic, local option for Illinois seniors that provides quality, integrated care,” said Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “The option to continue to live safely in the community will significantly improve the quality of life for Illinois seniors who enroll in the program.”
Although the program is designed to provide community services as an alternative to nursing home care, if a program enrollee requires nursing facility care, PACE will fund this and continue to coordinate the patient’s care. In other words, a PACE program takes all the risk for the full cost of an enrollee’s care and is another form of managed care.
“Our seniors deserve to live with dignity and joy. We recognize the contributions they have made to our state and are committed to ensuring they have what they need to live healthy, happy, and well lives,” said Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton. “PACE is a major step in improving the care and well-being of Illinois seniors, making it clear that our administration stands with them today and every day.”
When the program is scheduled to launch in 2024, PACE providers in Illinois will join 31 other states that currently offer the program. Existing PACE programs serve approximately 60,000 people nationwide.