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Illinois expands health care coverage for immigrant adults to include those aged 42 and up

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is expanding the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program to now provide health care coverage to undocumented immigrant adults and certain legal permanent residents aged 42 and over.

Building on the first-in-the-nation Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors program, Illinois in March launched the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program for qualifying individuals aged 55 to 64. The Illinois General Assembly authorized the expansion to include those aged 42 and up as part of Medicaid omnibus legislation this spring that Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law in May. Qualifying individuals aged 42 to 54 will be eligible for services through the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program beginning July 1, 2022.

“From day one of my administration, equity has been—and will always be—our north star,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Everyone, regardless of documentation status, deserves access to holistic healthcare coverage. I am proud to expand the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program to include more Illinoisans in need of care. We are leading the nation in health equity—and creating a healthier, happier Illinois in the process.”

“The right to live healthy, safe and well should never be determined by documentation status. All people should have access to the care and resources they need to lead a good quality of life, and we are committed to reaching out to the communities who need it most to ensure they are seen and heard,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “This is what health equity looks like in action. We will continue to focus on bridging gaps that uplift all communities across the state.”

Covered services include doctor and hospital visits, lab tests, physical and occupational therapy, mental health, substance abuse disorder services, dental and vision services, and prescription drugs.

The expansion of the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program builds on the successful Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors program that has provided Medicaid-like benefits to qualifying immigrant adults aged 65 and older since December 2020.

“We are striving each and every day toward making the health care system in Illinois as equitable as possible,” said Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Theresa Eagleson. “I’m proud that Illinois has been a national leader in providing health care coverage to immigrant adults, and HFS will continue to make every effort to remove barriers so all Illinoisans can access high-quality health care services.”

“Expanding access to health care services for immigrant families in Illinois is a step that will make a very meaningful difference in many lives,” said HFS Assistant Director Jenny Aguirre. “I’m very proud that in Illinois, we are inclusive and count health care access and equity as a top priority, regardless of immigration status.”

Individuals are eligible for coverage through the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program if they meet these requirements:

  • They are between the ages of 42 and 64.
  • They are an Illinois resident.
  • They are either an undocumented immigrant or a legal permanent resident of the United States for less than five years.
  • Annual household income is at or below $18,754 for one person or $25,268 for two people. The income limit is equal to the ACA Adult program.
  • Individuals can apply for new benefits at any time using the following methods:
  • Online at www.ABE.illinois.gov
  • By calling the ABE Customer Call Center at 1-800-843-6154
  • By contacting a community service agency for assistance applying in 59 languages
  • By mail using the online paper application, or requesting a paper application through the ABE Customer Call Center.
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