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States Respond to COVID-19: Medicaid Expansion for Undocumented Older Adults

On June 10, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget, which calls for the state to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income residents ages 65 and older, regardless of immigration status, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Illinois is the first state to grant undocumented immigrants these protections.

In the appropriations bill, the state gives Medicaid access to noncitizens over 65 years old whose income is at or below the federal poverty level. The expanded Medicaid coverage will begin July 1. The state projects this expansion will cost the state about $2 million.

California recently withdrew a similar plan to expand coverage to undocumented older adults due to budget concerns.

Penn. Heightens Measures to Protect Hospital Staff

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health on June 10 issued an order requiring hospitals to implement additional measures to protect staff and providers against the spread of COVID-19.

As part of the heightened protections, hospitals will require all patients and guests to wear masks and there will be a strict process of notifying staff if they have been in contact with anyone who is suspected to test positive for COVID-19. Additionally, the state will prepare for increased contact tracing procedures to help ensure the safety of those who work in hospitals. The policies cover all hospital staff, including those in therapeutic, social, housekeeping, or dietary services, as well as maintenance.

We encourage all members to visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the outbreak.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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