SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday signed a Medicaid package into law that seeks to extend continuous coverage for individuals without a source of income and lowers the eligibility age for undocumented immigrants from 55 to 42.

“This legislation sends a clear message: in Illinois, healthcare is a right—not a privilege,” said Pritzker. “Throughout my administration, it has been our priority to create the most equitable healthcare system in the nation. Today, we continue to make that idea a reality. I am proud to sign this bill into law to ensure that all Illinoisans have access to quality healthcare no matter their gender, race, age, or zip code.”

The new laws authorize the State to seek federal approval to allow individuals without a source of income at the time of their medical benefits redetermination to be considered for renewal.

In addition, it expands coverage for midwifery services by adding certified professional midwives to the program, beginning January 1st, 2023.

It also expands eligibility for undocumented immigrants who are in the five-year waiting period to become eligible for benefits beginning at age 42.

“Everyone deserves access to quality health care services, and the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program expanding coverage to a larger population is another significant step toward more equity in health care,” said Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago.) “I’m proud that Illinois continues to be a leader in this area, and we will continue working to create an environment in this state where people can build long, healthy lives, regardless of their immigration status.”