Certain immigration policies are leading to ineligibility for the new insurance coverage.
Young immigrants who are permitted to remain in the United States as a result of a new federal policy are discovering that they are not eligible to benefit from the health care reform act.
The Affordable Care Act will not apply to those remaining in the country through the new policy.
This most recent decision was not released with a great deal of noise or spotlight, but it has infuriated many immigrant and Hispanic American advocates. They state that these health care reform limitations conflict with President Obama’s recent applause for young immigrants in the country.
The health care reform announcement first came in June, along with the federal policy release.
At that time, the White House announced that the thousands of immigrants who were residing in the United States illegally, having come into the country as a child, may be permitted to remain within the U.S. without fear of deportation, provided that they attended school here and met a number of other requirements.
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These individuals would be known as residents who are “lawfully present”, so that they would be eligible for certain government subsidies, such as those for buying private insurance, which is the very heart of the health care reforms. However, in August, another announcement was subtly made to follow up the initial decision, excluding those young immigrants from the “lawfully present” definition, meaning that they would no longer be eligible for those subsidies.
Equally, the administration sent a letter to the health officials for each of the states, explaining that these specific young immigrants who have been given a deportation reprieve “shall not be eligible” for either the Children’s Health Insurance Program or Medicaid. The officials from the administration have said that the coverage from the health care reform act and the new immigration initiative are two issues that are completely independent of one another.
The secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, explained within the Federal Register that the reasons that were provided for the immigration initiative “do not pertain to eligibility for Medicaid”, nor to the federal subsidies for health insurance purchase as laid out in the health care reform rules, or to the children’s health program.