EN SocialCHAMPAIGN –State Senator Paul Faraci is urging all residents who receive Medicaid benefits to verify their information and renew their coverage so they can continue receiving health insurance.

“Medicaid provides essential health care services to many Illinoisans, and it’s important that those who rely on this program take the necessary steps to renew their coverage,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “I want to remind all residents who receive these benefits to take a few minutes to verify their information before it is too late.”

The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency has allowed for continuous Medicaid coverage. However, as this emergency ends, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services wants to protect coverage for as many people possible.

To help as many people as possible keep their Medicaid coverage, HFS needs updated addresses to send people their renewal forms. People who use Medicaid can update their addresses two ways: calling the HFS hotline (877-805-5312), or through an HFS web form at medicaid.illinois.gov.

“Everyone should have access to quality health care, so don’t risk losing yours and verify your information now,” said Faraci.

Faraci HoFCHAMPAIGN – To commemorate the achievements and contributions of older adults, State Senator Paul Faraci is asking residents to submit their nominations for the 2023 Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame.

“We all have an older family member, friend or neighbor in mind that has made a positive impact in our community,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “Their selfless acts deserve recognition, and that’s why I’m encouraging you to submit a nomination to the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame.”

The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame celebrates outstanding accomplishments in community service, education, the labor force and the arts. Each year, four candidates — one from each category — are inducted.

Eligibility is based on an individual’s past and present accomplishments, and the candidate must be a current Illinois citizen or a former citizen for most of their life. Posthumous nominees are also considered.

Nominations for 2023 inductees must be submitted by June 1. For more information or to submit a nomination, click here.

FaraciSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Paul Faraci advanced a measure through the Senate Higher Education Committee that requires public universities and community colleges to provide all necessary coursework materials for rental, free of charge.

“This legislation will help college students save money and increase accessibility to higher education,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “Textbook costs can be a significant barrier for many students, and this initiative will help alleviate some of the financial burden.”

According to the College Board, the average student budget for college books and supplies during the 2020-2021 academic year was $1,298 at four-year public institutions. This cost can be substantial and is often overlooked when considering the overall cost of attending college. A survey by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that 65% of students decided not to buy a textbook because of the cost, and 94% of those students worried it would negatively affect their grade.

The initiative aims to increase accessibility and attainability in higher education by addressing the rising costs of textbooks, which can be a significant barrier for many students. To help alleviate this burden, many public universities and community colleges, such as SIU, already include free textbook rentals in their tuition and fee costs for all or high-need students. According to two recent studies, these more affordable course materials can deliver student cost savings of 29-35% annually.

“The price of textbooks should not be the reason why someone cannot attend college,” said Faraci. “Attending college too often carries a significant financial burden, and this legislation will help alleviate some of that burden for students.”

Senate Bill 1895 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee and Senator Faraci is committed to having ongoing discussions on the legislation to find the best path for implementation.  

FaraciSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Paul Faraci advanced a measure through the Senate State Government Committee to rename and expand the ABLE Account Program in honor of the late Senator Scott Bennett.

“Senator Bennett was a tireless advocate for individuals living with disabilities and their families,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “Renaming the ABLE Account Program in his honor is a fitting tribute to his legacy of service and commitment to improving the lives of those around him.”

The program, created and passed by Senator Scott Bennett during the 99th General Assembly, allows individuals with disabilities and their families to save money for expenses related to living with a disability without losing access to certain federal government assistance. Under Faraci’s legislation, the ABLE Account Program would be renamed to the Senator Scott Bennett ABLE Program.

The ABLE Program is a critical tool for individuals with disabilities and their families, allowing them to save and invest for expenses related to their disability without losing access to federal means-tested benefits such as SSI, SSDI, and Medicaid. With a maximum savings limit of $100,000, individuals can rest assured that they have a secure financial future.

“It is my hope that this bill will help individuals living with disabilities and their families achieve financial stability and security, and honor the life and legacy of Senator Bennett,” said Faraci.

Senate Bill 2247 passed the Senate State Government Committee and awaits action before the full Senate.

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