Healthcare Expansion Covers More Uninsured Illinoisans – Regardless of Immigration Status

The Shriver Center on Poverty Law will continue to advocate for healthcare for all Illinoisans until everyone has access to coverage.

Everyone deserves access to affordable, comprehensive, culturally appropriate healthcare, no matter their income, race, gender, or where they’re from. 

Illinois continues its commitment to the expansion of comprehensive health coverage by creating a pathway for low-income Illinois residents aged 55 through 64, with household incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level, regardless of their immigration status. The Shriver Center as a part of the Healthy Illinois Campaign advocated for the expansion of health coverage and will continue to advocate until all low-income Illinoisans are covered.  

Undocumented immigrants face incredible barriers to health care, from uncertain coverage of COVID testing and treatment to fear of immigration consequences. Everyone, especially older adults, deserves to have access to health care coverage, particularly during a pandemic.  

Lina’s parents, both in their 70s, immigrated to the United States from Lithuania over 30 years ago. This past year they qualified for health coverage for the first time since coming to the U.S. 

“Access to healthcare is a human right. This is a desperate issue for us who are immigrants. Healthcare should not have geographic boundaries. I don’t advocate and go out marching and protest but for this I would go and march and hold up a sign and advocate for healthcare for everyone. It is the most important thing,” says Lina. 

Last year, Lina’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and needed extensive care. “[We now have support to] save my mom’s life thanks to the new health program. It is so hard and stressful to worry about your parents’ health all the time as they get older and know that you cannot help them.” 

Illinois was the first state in the nation with last year’s budget allocation to provide Medicaid look-alike coverage to older adults aged 65 and older regardless of immigration status. This new expansion is the next step in the goal to provide comprehensive, affordable health coverage to all low-income Illinoisans.  

Sign our petition to support a Healthy Illinois for all! The Shriver Center on Poverty Law will continue to advocate for healthcare for all Illinoisans until everyone has access to coverage. 

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We are intentional about addressing barriers to healthcare that specific communities experience.

Healthcare is a human right. The high cost of care means millions of families have no access to the critical care all human beings deserve.

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