Senator offering assistance at West Chicago and Aurora offices
WEST CHICAGO – To prevent eligible residents in Illinois from missing out on enrolling in health care coverage, State Senator Karina Villa is inviting everyone of noncitizen status who is uninsured or underinsured to come to her district office and sign up for coverage before July 1. This comes in response to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ announcement that enrollment in the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program will be paused.
“As chair of the Senate Public Health Committee and a member of the Latino Caucus, it is a top priority of mine to make sure everyone in our state has access to quality health care, regardless of their citizenship status,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “Freezing enrollment for health care coverage for noncitizens will have an awful impact on our community and is a huge step backwards on the progress we’ve made. Spending on this program will not begin until July 1, the start of the fiscal year. There is no need for an emergency order to prevent running out of money that has not even been spent yet. Although we in the Latino Caucus along with community organizers are working hard to reverse this decision, my office is here to help enroll everyone we can before the deadline.”
Illinois offers two programs to provide health care to noncitizens: the Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors (HBIS) offers Medicaid-like government health insurance to noncitizens age 65 and older, and the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults (HBIA) program offers medical coverage to adults age 42 to 64 regardless of their immigration status. Enrollment in the HBIA program will close July 1; seniors age 65 or older will still be able to enroll in their program after July 1.
This past legislative session, the Latino Caucus pushed for the passage of House Bill 1570 and Senate Bill 122, which would have expanded the Medicaid coverage to all adult noncitizens by including coverage for those age 19 to 41. Although the bills did not pass, the Latino Caucus secured funding in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget for Illinois for these health care programs. However, costs for the HBIA program are expected to exceed what is appropriated in the FY24 budget. As a result, the state is temporarily freezing HBIA enrollment effective July 1.
“According to the American Immigration Council, in 2019 noncitizens paid $20.4 billion dollars in taxes to Illinois’ economy. If the health care programs are terminated, those who contribute to our economy will receive nothing back in return,” Villa said. “It would be reprehensible for our state to freeze a program that offers so much assistance to those who need it most and who contribute to our economy. I encourage every eligible resident in my district to come to my office and enroll before it is too late.”
Those interested in or need assistance with signing up for the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program before July 1 can visit one of Villa’s two district offices: 946 Neltnor Blvd., Suite 104, West Chicago, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or 1177 N. Highland Ave., Suite 101, Aurora, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call Villa’s district office at 630-326-9319 or email email@example.com.