Children of Immigrants Suffer, Too – Part 5
HEALTH CARE REFORM (HR 3590) AND ITS EFFECT ON IMMIGRANTS
Under the new health care reform, undocumented immigrants will get no federal coverage, nor will they be able to purchase private health care insurance even at full cost. They are not eligible for premium tax credits or cost sharing reductions, nor are they eligible for Medicare, CHIP or non-emergency Medicaid. They are exempt from the individual mandate.
They remain eligible for
- Emergency Medicaid
- Can seek non-emergency health care services at community health centers
- Can get emergency care but are liable for all costs of service
As for children of undocumented parents who are citizens or lawful permanent residents they can purchase from exchange but only for child coverage. They can if they are lawful permanent residents or United States citizens be eligible for tax credits and reduced cost sharing.
NEWS IS BETTER FOR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS
Legal immigrants can obtain limited federal coverage subject to individual mandate. They can immediately enroll in insurance for premium tax credits through the exchange and get cost sharing reductions. Five year or longer waiting periods for lawful permanent residents and other restrictions on Medicaid continue as before.
Low- income legal immigrants are not eligible for federal Medicaid and cannot receive premium tax credits or cost sharing reductions in the exchange. Furthermore, citizens of Compact Free Association States who reside in the U.S. are still ineligible to receive federal Medicaid.
Since April 2009, states can choose to provide Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program ( CHIP) benefits to lawfully residing children and pregnant women, regardless of their date of entry. However if states do not elect this option then a wait of FIVE years or more is required before they can get affordable health care.
CERTAIN VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
For the insurance exchange, citizenship or permanent residency proof is required. It will be verified through Department of Homeland Security ( DHS) database for permanent residents and through the Social Security Administration ( SSA) database for citizens.
For Medicaid and other health programs for citizens requires 2005 documentation of citizenship and identity and with the state option verification via SSA under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 ( CHIPRA). For legal immigrants the USCIS can verify immigrant eligibility under SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements)
For more information see www.nilc.org