The Affordable Care Act is meant to expand access to affordable health care coverage, but the law excludes one group from benefiting: the nearly 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
Under the federal health care law, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for any assistance. For example, they are excluded from getting federal subsidies to buy health insurance, and they cannot shop for coverage in the health insurance marketplace.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made that clear last week while answering questions about the health care law on a Google Hangout sponsored by Voto Latino.
“You have to be a legal resident in order to be entitled to a tax credit and purchase health insurance in the marketplace,” she said.
It is estimated that more than half of all undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States don’t have health insurance. And only a few have insurance through employer-sponsored programs.
The Urban Institute estimates that 25 percent of the people who will remain without health insurance once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented will be undocumented immigrants, making up the nation’s second-largest population of uninsured.
With limited health care options, undocumented immigrants are turning to community health clinics and nonprofit organization to get the medical care they need.
One of those nonprofit organizations is Puentes de Salud. The organization focuses on providing Latinos in South Philadelphia with quality health care and social services at a low cost. The New York Times profiled the Puentes de Salud las week in a story written by Jon Hurdle.
Read full story here: http://voxxi.com/2014/01/27/health-care-undocumented-immigrants/