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Healthy Illinois Campaign and members of the Illinois Latino Legislative Caucus celebrate the historic launch of the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults (HBIA) program for individuals ages 55-64, regardless of immigration status.

Illinois became the first state in the nation to provide Medicaid-like coverage to low-income seniors over the age of 65. Today Illinois builds upon this legacy by expanding coverage to low-income adults ages 55 through 64. This is a monumental and critical step toward expanding healthcare coverage to all undocumented, uninsured Illinoisans- the largest group of residents in Illinois without coverage. We applaud the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Governor of Illinois for getting this program up and running!

This vital step also ensures that Illinois emerges stronger from this crisis by lowering the uninsured rate, reducing healthcare providers’ uncompensated care, and ensuring a more equitable healthcare system for all Illinoisans. Advocates continue to call for the further expansion of coverage to the remaining excluded population ages 19-54 this year.

To qualify:

“Over the last two years, we have seen Covid-19 devastate communities that do not have access to the healthcare they need to live full and healthy lives. I am proud of the historic work we have done in Illinois to expand coverage to some of our most vulnerable residents,” Ramirez said. “I hope that this program will continue to set the standard for how states can take care of immigrant communities who otherwise would not have access to healthcare coverage.”

Representative Delia Ramirez, Illinois 4th District

“A person’s immigration status should not limit having access to vital healthcare services. That’s why Illinois leads the nation in opening Medicaid enrollment for non-citizens 55+, one of the more vulnerable demographics in our state. This Medicaid expansion is indeed an accomplishment. But it’s only one more step that moves us closer to our goal to provide healthcare services for all in Illinois.”

Senator Omar Aquino, Illinois 2nd District

“As our state continues to fight a virus that disproportionately impacts people of color, access to affordable, quality healthcare is more important than ever,” said Assistant Majority Leader Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero. “Expanding Medicaid coverage to undocumented adults is an important step in furthering access to healthcare and ensuring the dignified treatment of undocumented individuals. I am proud to support this legislation that will improve and save lives across the state.”

Representative Lisa Hernandez, Illinois 24th District

“The State of Illinois is making history. Healthcare coverage for all, including the undocumented, is life changing for our community.”

Carmen Velasquez, Founder of Alivio Medical Center and Healthy Illinois Campaign

“The Resurrection Project celebrates that many members of our communities will be able to receive the medical care they need; our hearts are happy today! We thank our legislative champions: Leader Ramirez, Leader Hernandez, Leader Harris, Senator Aquino, and Speaker Welch along with the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Governor of Illinois for believing Healthcare is a human right and getting this done. Let’s keep advocating until everyone is covered!”

Ere Rendon, The Resurrection Project

“Expanding healthcare coverage is good for the economy, good for families and smart for Illinois.”

Rebecca Shi, American Business Immigration Coalition

“The Shriver Center, on behalf of all of the immigrant families we represent, is thrilled that the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program has launched today. Everyone deserves access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare no matter their income, race/ethnicity, gender, or where they’re from. We will continue to work on Healthcare for All until every immigrant in the state of Illinois has a pathway to health coverage.”

Stephani Becker, Shriver Center on Poverty Law

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