Affordable Care Act (ACA): 100,000 immigrants, who arrived in the U.S. as children, will enroll in health insurance

ACA  obamacare open enrollment
Affordable Care Act (ACA) : The Biden administration anticipates that around 100,000 immigrants, who arrived in the U.S. as children, will enroll in health insurance provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) next year.

This decision, announced on Friday, comes after some delay and falls short of President Biden’s initial proposal to allow these immigrants to enroll in Medicaid, a program offering low-cost coverage to the poorest Americans.

Despite the delay, this move will enable thousands of immigrants to access tax breaks when they sign up for ACA coverage after enrollment opens on November 1st, shortly before the presidential election.

While this decision may enhance Biden’s standing among Latinos, a crucial voting demographic, it’s likely to draw criticism from conservatives regarding the administration’s approach to immigration and border policies.

This action extends marketplace eligibility to participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, many of whom are Latino. Xavier Becerra, the nation’s top health official, emphasized that many DACA participants have postponed seeking healthcare due to lack of coverage, resulting in higher costs when they do seek care.

By allowing Dreamers to enroll in coverage, the administration aims to improve their health outcomes and bolster the nation’s overall well-being and economy.

The administration’s directive revises the definition of “lawfully present” to permit DACA participants to enroll in the marketplace exchange. DACA, initiated by President Obama, aimed to protect immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children from deportation and grant them legal work status.

However, these individuals, often referred to as “Dreamers,” remained ineligible for government-subsidized health insurance due to their lack of “lawful presence” in the U.S.

The decision not to expand Medicaid eligibility for these immigrants followed extensive public feedback, with over 20,000 comments received on the proposal.

Officials declined to explain the delay in finalizing the rule, which was initially proposed in April of last year, leading to the inability of migrants to enroll in marketplace coverage this year.

While over 800,000 DACA participants will be eligible for marketplace coverage, the administration estimates that only 100,000 will enroll, as some may have coverage through their employment or other means, while others may find marketplace coverage unaffordable.

Other categories of immigrants, such as asylum seekers and individuals with temporary protected status, are already eligible to purchase insurance through the ACA marketplaces, commonly referred to as “Obamacare.”

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