Low-Income Kids In Illinois Get Access To Vaccines

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In this 2015 file photo, a nurse administers a flu vaccine shot in Washington. Illinois had been using free vaccines from the federal government for kids in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, but then the feds called for states to pay for those doses. Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press
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In this 2015 file photo, a nurse administers a flu vaccine shot in Washington. Illinois had been using free vaccines from the federal government for kids in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, but then the feds called for states to pay for those doses. Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Low-Income Kids In Illinois Get Access To Vaccines

In 2016 the Rauner administration made it harder for low-income kids to get vaccinated. 

Prior to the change, kids in the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, were able to receive free vaccines from the CDC. 

However, the CDC began requiring states to pay for vaccines it used for CHIP kids, resulting in a bill of about $24 million. 

The Rauner administration then decided to require health providers to pay for vaccines for CHIP enrollees up front and wait for reimbursement from the state or private insurance companies. 

Most doctors were unable to afford the cost, leaving parents trying to figure out how to cover the cost themselves. 

After recent concerns about an increase in measles infections medical professionals rang the alarm about kids potentially going unvaccinated. 

Morning Shift digs into the reversal of the state’s policy and what it means for low-income kids in Illinois.