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Provider Notice Issued 12/11/2020

Date:    December 11, 2020


To:       All Medical Assistance Program Providers


Re:      New Health Benefit Coverage for Immigrant Seniors and Continued Emergency Medical Coverage for Persons Not Meeting Immigration Status



This notice informs providers of a new eligibility category for non-citizens age 65 and older who do not meet immigration status for Medicaid coverage. It also reminds providers of existing coverage of emergency medical services for persons not meeting immigration status.


Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors

Effective December 1, 2020, medical benefits similar to those offered under the Seniors and Persons with Disabilities program (formerly Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled) will be offered to non-citizens age 65 and over who do not meet immigration status for Medicaid. This state-funded special program is called Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors. Covered services are those described in Chapter 100, Topic 103.1, except for long term care services including the following:


         ·         Nursing facility services

         ·         Home and Community Based services


The new benefits officially start December 1, 2020; however, participants may receive backdated eligibility for up to three months before the month of application, if eligible in each month. Coverage cannot be given prior to September 1, 2020, regardless of the application date. For the start of the program, participants will be covered under the Medicaid fee-for-service program.


Emergency Medical Coverage for Non-citizens Ineligible for Medicaid due to Immigration Status

Individuals of any age who are ineligible for Medicaid due to their immigration status continue to be eligible for federally matched emergency medical coverage. The Department strongly encourages providers to continue to use the emergency medical process in place for individuals ineligible for Medicaid due to their immigration status. As federal matching funds are available for emergency medical services for non-citizens, the financial resources for the state-funded Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors program above can then be better utilized to cover ongoing, non-emergency medical services.


Illinois residents can apply for these medical programs in one of the following ways:  1) online at ; 2) by contacting a Community Service Agency (help is available in 59 languages); 3) by calling 800-843-6154; or 4) by mailing in a Paper Application


Questions regarding this notice may be directed to the Bureau of Professional and Ancillary Services at 877-782-5565.



Kelly Cunningham

Interim Medicaid Administrator​


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Illinois Healthcare and Family Services

JB Pritzker, Governor • Theresa Eagleson, Director