On July 1, Illinois will become the first state to provide Medicaid-like care for senior citizens regardless of their immigration status. Governor J.B. Pritzker has committed to approve next year’s budget that was passed by the Illinois General Assembly and included Medicaid services for qualified undocumented seniors that go into effect on July 1 when the 2021 budget year begins. The bill was organized by the Healthy Illinois Campaign, a coalition of over 70 organizations and covers all low-income Illinois residents aged 65 and older, with household incomes of up to 100% FPL ($12,760 for an individual) regardless of their immigration status.
The bill was passed during the fight against the continued spread of COVID-19 and while Illinois is trying to mitigate the negative economic effects including to health care providers. In deciding to provide critical health coverage to low-income uninsured seniors regardless of their immigration status, the bill’s sponsor presented:
• it’s three times cheaper to cover undocumented seniors than it is to not cover them and pay for emergency health care at hospitals
• it will lower Illinois’s uninsured rate
• it will reduce health care providers’ uncompensated care
Illinois State Representative Delia Ramirez (D-4), House bill sponsor and chief champion of Healthy Illinois For All bill, said:
“Healthcare access is a fundamental right that should be guaranteed to all regardless of immigration status. This pandemic has shown the ways public health binds us all together and that denying healthcare to some hurts us all. I am proud that we have taken this important first step to care for our most vulnerable and will continue to work towards universal healthcare for all.“
As an intending immigrant, it’s important to know that USCIS does consider some Medicaid benefits (with some exceptions) as part of the public charge. If you are an immigrant and intending to take Medicaid please call our firm for a consultation.
The experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office are dedicated to supporting the rights of immigrants across Illinois. Contact Godoy Law Office today at 855-554-6369 to answer your questions about immigration, help you file an immigration application and guide you through every step of the immigration process.