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Illinois Expands Health Benefits for More Adult Immigrants

AFTER ILLINOIS became the first state in the nation in 2021 to provide Medicaid-like coverage to low- income undocumented seniors over age 65, even to those in the country illegally, advocates moved quickly to extend that coverage to younger and younger immigrant age groups. Legislators soon lowered the eligibility age to 55, and in 2022, lowered it again, to age 42. 

Emboldened by these successes, the Healthy Illinois coalition has set its sights on adults ages 19 to 41 years and is seeking to expand coverage to this age group. Their proposal would ensure parity by including home and community-based services and long-term care in the covered benefits for both seniors and younger adults. Even more notably, the proposal would extend coverage for the first time to the so-called “dreamers.”

Under Illinois House Bill 1570 and Illinois Senate Bill 122, all low-income Illinois residents over age 19 could qualify for comprehensive Medicaid-like healthcare coverage. Comprehensive coverage would include long-term services and support, both home and community-based, and long-term facility-based care, for adults and seniors who are immigrants.

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