The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not increase access to health insurance for undocumented immigrants however may lead for many legal immigrants who have concern earning this crucial coverage, completes a report released by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS). The report summaries the breaks in addition to the duties that the federal health reform law will transport to legally present immigrants, people who have gotten green cards or visas permitting them to work, live and study in the United States.
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“Most people do not realize that legal immigrants currently face many obstacles to obtaining health insurance,” said Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH the author of the new report and director of the Center for Health Policy Research at SPHHS. “Such immigrants are three times as likely to be uninsured as those born in the United States.” Without health coverage, they – like other uninsured Americans – often delay or never get potentially life-saving health care, he said.
This issue brief, which was sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund, records that the federal health reform law possibly will help as many as six million “lawfully present” immigrants either discover affordable health insurance around health insurance exchanges or enroll in Medicaid. The issue brief summaries two main benefits for legal immigrants under the health reform law:
First, and due to many complaints, legal immigrants that do not have health insurance will be able to sign up for coverage out of the new exchanges, online marketplaces where people can buy for a health plan. Depending on their income and other factors, legal immigrants may be able to qualify for federal tax credits that will make a health plan more affordable, Ku said.
Next, numerous legally present immigrants will as well become qualified for Medicaid under the ACA reforms. Under a Supreme Court ruling on the ACA, states are able to open up Medicaid programs to cover many more low-income adults. To date, about half the states have decided to increase their Medicaid programs. Legal immigrants living in the expanding states might find they qualify for Medicaid coverage if they meet income and other requirements, according to the report.
According to the ACA, the new health coverage benefits will not start until January 2014 however the analysis comments that lawfully current immigrants can log onto a health insurance exchange, either one run by a state or by the federal government, to look at their possibilities and shop for coverage now.
The issue brief as well records that numerous low-income immigrants speak a language other than English and may have no simple way to access to the internet. Ku says that many states have put in place community based navigators that can translate the details of a health plan or the cost-sharing obligations from English into another language. And the said navigators can aid lower income however legal immigrants sign up for a plan or profit admission to Medicaid coverage – if they are qualified. According to reviews, many are in favor of this act.