Healthy Illinois

Ensuring Illinois’s Future by Insuring All Illinoisans

 

Undocumented Adult Immigrants Comprise the Majority of the Remaining Uninsured in Illinois:  There are approximately 526,000 undocumented immigrants residing in Illinois, 440,000 of whom are aged 18-64.  They are a vital part of the cultural and economic fabric of our community. In fact, undocumented adult immigrants participate in our state’s workforce and pay more than $560 million in state and local taxes annually.  And yet, they are typically excluded from access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance.  If they have health insurance, it is usually because they are a child or a pregnant woman and receive coverage through the All Kids Medicaid program and the “Moms & Babies” program.

 

Federal health reform left most adult undocumented immigrants behind: they are ineligible for ACA Adult Medicaid and they are not allowed to purchase private health insurance—even at full cost-- in ACA health insurance marketplaces. They are therefore left with little option but to rely on expensive emergency rooms or over-taxed clinics for their health care.  As a result, they often forgo or delay necessary health care, resulting in delayed detection of diseases, worsening of chronic conditions, and no regular check ups or established relationship with a primary care provider.

 

Illinois Should Expand Health Insurance Coverage to all Illinoisans:  Illinois is stronger when every person has access to care and coverage, creating healthier and more financially stable families and communities. Uninsured residents will eventually, by age or accident, find themselves in emergency rooms and the uncompensated care health system. Illinois has an interest in providing primary and preventative care early, rather than more expensive and intrusive care when it is too late.

 

Expanding health insurance coverage to undocumented adult immigrants would:

  • Contribute to better access to care, increased use of preventive services, better management of chronic illness and, eventually, longer and healthier lives.

 

Campaign Victory: The Healthy Illinois Coalition was able to protect an extension to Illinois’ “All Kids” program through October 1st of 2019. Without the extension, 41,000 low-income children in Illinois, including many immigrant children, would have lost their health care coverage. The extension was signed by the Governor in July, 2016

  •      Covering All Kids has resulted in Illinois having the second highest rate of health coverage for Latino children in the nation – 95.5%

  •   Covering All Kids has resulted in Illinois having one of the highest rates of health coverage for ALL children - 96.7%

  •  Covering All Kids generates an enhanced Federal match:  the program draws down over $40 million annual federal match that reduces the already modest state cost

Contact: Mariela Estrada, mestrada@bpncchicago.org