SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois’ new budget includes rate increases for Medicaid and provides more healthcare access for undocumented migrants.

Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) was among the lawmakers who voted for Senate Bill 1298, which includes the Medicaid increase, which will cost the state an extra $317 million, according to The Center Square.

“This does address some of the needs that we have here,” Syverson said. “It may be an inconvenient truth, but clearly, one of the biggest groups that are going to be hurt by this budget and by this measure is the hospitals.”

The law will also provide Medicaid-style healthcare coverage for noncitizens aged 42 and older, who would be eligible for Medicaid if they were citizens.

According to a report by Health Care and Family Services, in 2024 there will be an additional 108,400 undocumented immigrants needing health care, a number that exceeds current estimates.

Current estimates place the number of undocumented immigrants living in Illinois at over 500,000, with nearly 4,000 over the age of 65.

Around 10,000 migrants have arrived in Illinois since Texas Governor Greg Abbott began transporting undocumented immigrants to Chicago last August, according to WBEZ.

Illinois introduced the Health Benefits or Immigrant Adults program in March 2022. Covered services include doctor and hospital visits, lab tests, physical and occupational therapy, mental health, substance abuse disorder services, dental and vision services, and prescription drugs.

“If they are going to keep the border open, then they should be paying for those costs, not asking Illinois taxpayers to put aside programs for the disabled, seniors and our own residents to provide high-quality health care for people from other countries,” Syverson said. 

“They pay taxes regardless of whether they have a social security number or not,” said Sen. Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago). “They pay taxes.” 

The cost of covering healthcare for undocumented migrants is projected to cost taxpayers $1 billion.

The state’s $50.5 budget agreement awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature.