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updated: 1/23/2014 8:07 AM

Illinois Medicaid pursues housing as health care

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Associated Press

Gov. Pat Quinn's administration has a plan for bringing in an additional $3.2 billion in federal funds over five years to help pay for an expansion of supportive housing and other changes to the state's health care system for the poor and disabled.

State officials outlined the plan -- it's called a Medicaid waiver proposal -- Wednesday at a legislative committee hearing in Chicago.

Supportive housing provides poor and homeless people with subsidized rent and help from social workers. Some studies have shown it can lower health care costs by reducing emergency room visits and hospital stays.

Illinois plans to submit its proposal to federal Medicaid officials Feb. 7, and two open meetings will be held to gather public feedback.

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