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Health care for older immigrants sees momentum among states

Posted On: Sep 19, 2021   |   Posted By: WGN TV

Health care for older immigrants sees momentum among states

CHICAGO - Most mornings, 62-year-old Maria Elena Estamilla wakes up with pelvic pain and dread that she faces the same fate as her mother and grandmother: fatal cervical cancer.
The Chicago woman's last full medical exam was in 2015 and she sees no options for care as a Mexican immigrant without permission to live in the U.S. She's not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or Affordable Care Act coverage. As a child care worker, she didn't have employer coverage. She can't afford private insurance.
But things may soon change.
Illinois is among a handful of Democratic-run states extending health insurance coverage to adult immigrants in the country illegally, including seniors. The state, which became the first to offer a Medicaid-like program for older immigrants last year, used a new budget to expand the program. California followed suit, including coverage for those 50 and over in the latest budget. And Oregon's governor signed a plan this week offering benefits to low-income immigrants over 19. New York...

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