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Illinois Expands Health Insurance For Undocumented Seniors

Illinois Expands Health Insurance For Undocumented Seniors

Illinois’ program that provides healthcare coverage for undocumented low-income seniors who are residents of Illinois. Medicaid qualifications have been expanded to include undocumented adult immigrants ages 55 to 64 who are living at or below the federal poverty level. The program initially covered only seniors 65 and older. 

The program covers prescription drugs, doctor visits and hospital stays but does not include nursing facility services or funeral and burial expenses. The pandemic demonstrated the healthcare needs of undocumented essential workers in Illinois: 

“COVID-19 really put a magnifying glass on a lot of the experiences that we’ve been hearing in our communities for a very long time: that people have just been systematically left out from the health care spectrum as we saw how COVID rates and COVID deaths disproportionately impacted immigrant communities.” 

– Graciela Guzman
campaign director of the Healthy Illinois campaign

Since 2016, the Healthy Illinois campaign has advocated for guaranteed health care for all adult Illinoisans regardless of their income or immigration status.

How to Apply For Health Insurance For Undocumented Seniors 

You can apply for Illinois healthcare benefits for immigrants using the following methods:

✓  Apply online at www.ABE.illinois.gov.

✓  Apply by phone by calling the ABE Customer Call Center at 1-800-843-6154.

✓  Contact an Application Assistor for help in applying

✓  Contact a Community Service Agency for help in applying in 59 languages.

✓  Apply by mail using the online Paper Application or ask the ABE Customer Call Center (1-800-843-6154) to request a paper application.

If you have questions about how to enroll in the program or how it could impact your immigration status, call the Immigrant Family Resource Program at 1-855-437-7669 or contact an immigration lawyer for assistance.

Illinois 1st State to Provide Medicaid Regardless of Immigration Status

Illinois’ new law went into effect in July 2020 and is the 1st in the country to provide healthcare insurance for undocumented residents. The program is open to people 55 years old and older who are undocumented or are legal permanent residents, also known as Green Card holders) for less than five years. Green Card holders must be continuous legal permanent residents for at least 5 years to qualify for Medicare. The Medicaid-like care for senior citizens is more cost-effective to provide when compared to previous alternatives such as emergency room care.

A study by Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center determined an estimated 3,986 undocumented seniors live in Illinois, and that number is expected to grow to 55,144 by 2030 according to demographers.

Our Law Firm Can Help Protect Your American Dream

The experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office are dedicated to supporting the rights of immigrants across Illinois. Contact Godoy Law Office today at 630-912-0322 to answer your questions about immigration, help you file an immigration application and guide you through every step of the immigration process. 


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