From Illinois Business Journal news services
SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by Illinois state Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, to ensure public aid benefits are not paid to deceased people cleared the House of Representatives recently.
“When I found out the State of Illinois was paying public benefits to the deceased, it was a no brainer to file legislation to put a stop to the fraudulent spending,” Kay said. “When I started looking into the problem I found out that DHS did not have access to the death record database which caused the problem to spiral out of control. My bill will require death records to be shared promptly so that payments being made to the deceased are stopped immediately.”
According to a state audit released on Feb. 5, 2015, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, approximately 5,916 deceased individuals were identified as being eligible for public aid. $3.7 million in medical costs was paid for 1,111 deceased individuals and 180 public aid recipients enrolled in managed care more than 90 days after date of the individuals’ death.
House Bill 3311 requires the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to enter into an agreement granting DHS access to the IDPH electronic reporting system for death registrations. The legislation also requires that public aid recipients who are found to have a death record in the IDPH system, are subject to an immediate suspension of their public aid benefits, including the deactivation of their LINK card upon certification that the death certificate matches the identity of the public aid recipient.
Kay’s legislation passed without opposition and now awaits approval by the Illinois Senate.