Obamacare and Its Effects on Immigrants

Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego

The Affordable Care Act, initially referred to derogatorily by Republicans as Obamacare, but Democrats now proudly refer to the Act by the same name will effect our health care system even though most people don’t know exactly how it will effect them. What about immigrants?

  • Lawful immigrants are included in Medicaid and the health-exchange component of The Affordable Care Act, but undocumented immigrants are not covered. As a result in a non-emergency situation everyone must prove their Citizenship or lawful immigration status.
    • Undocumented children are also excluded from the Affordable Care Act, but can get coverage through local health programs such as Medi-Cal.
  • Lawful immigrants are subject to the health insurance mandate, and may participate in the high-risk pools and the exchanges. They are also eligible for premium credits and cost-sharing subsidies.
    • Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal premium credits or cost-sharing subsidies.
  • Private health care companies can still offer plans to anyone willing to pay for them off of the exchange, including undocumented immigrants.
  • There are still several questions about “mixed status” families, where some individuals have lawful immigration status, while others do not. There should be some sort of solution that allows the entire family to enroll provided they pay the required enrollment fees or premiums.