Schools Are Key to Improving Children’s Health: How Illinois Can Leverage Medicaid Funds to Expand School Health Services

January 2021

This brief addresses the steps Illinois must take to amend its Medicaid state plan and increase access to school health services. It includes school provider staffing and student health metrics and lessons learned from other states.

Of the nearly 2 million students in Illinois, approximately 40 percent (800,000) are enrolled in Medicaid, including 235,000 students in Chicago alone. Illinois has the opportunity to draw down federal funds for school health services provided to all students enrolled in Medicaid—and to expand the types of school health services and providers eligible for reimbursement. But without a state plan amendment, school districts will continue to be limited to reimbursement for a small percentage of students, as well as limited to an outdated group of eligible services and providers.

Learn more about the opportunity to expand school health services in Illinois.

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