040822HAO00274­CHICAGO – To make essential health services accessible to immigrant and refugee communities, State Senator Ram Villivalam supported a measure to expand Medicaid-like benefits to non-citizens down to age 42 that was signed into law on Friday.

“As we were reminded over the course of the pandemic, our collective public health requires that all our neighbors be covered, regardless of immigrant status,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “Expanding health care coverage to as many people as possible will keep all our communities safe and healthy as we continue to recover.”

In 2021, Illinois became the first state in the nation to expand Medicaid-like benefits to non-citizens ages 55-64 who would have otherwise qualified for Medicaid if not for their immigration status. House Bill 4343 reduces the age range from 55 to 42 to ensure that more residents can receive care.

House Bill 4343 also provides for continuous coverage under Medicaid for those with inconsistent incomes, expands Medicaid coverage to include midwife services, increases funding for existing services, and automatically re-enrolls individuals with zero income.

To further support immigrant and refugee communities in the 8th Senate District, Senator Villivalam secured $105 million in combined funds for welcoming centers across Illinois in the FY23 state budget.

House Bill 4343 was signed into law on Friday and the non-citizen coverage expansion takes effect in July 2022.