Skip to main content
Elisa Batista's picture

Para leer este artículo en español, haga clic aquí. “Will parents be asked for immigration documents if they try to enroll their child in a health insurance plan?” “Are there healthcare options for me as an adult immigrant?” At the time of the launch of the health insurance marketplace in early October, held a twitter chat en español. We heard these kind of questions over and over again. Confusion about whether immigrant children and adults qualify for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is the norm. So what's the scoop? Some immigrants will qualify for Medicaid Under the new health care law, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and "Obamacare", Medicaid healthcare coverage has been expanded in many states, which is an advantage for low-income people, including lawfully presiding immigrants who have lived here for at least five years. To find out if you qualify, go here or call 1-800-318-2596. Some immigrants will qualify for federal subsidies for private insurance Those who do not qualify for Medicaid (that is, they have not been in the U.S. for five years or do not meet the income level cut-off) may qualify to receive tax credits for private insurance in the health insurance marketplace. To learn if you qualify, go here or call 1-800-318-2596. Children’s health insurance has been expanded All U.S.-born children with low-income immigrant parents may qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). To be clear, these children are eligible regardless of their parents’ immigration status as a documented or undocumented immigrant. This has been confirmed by the federal government, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. To see if your income level qualifies your child for this program, go here or call 1-877-543-7669. Rest assured, when you call them you will NOT be asked about your immigration status, only proof of your income level and documentation that your child was born in the United States. Additionally, families who do not qualify for CHIP because their income is too high may qualify for a federal subsidy to purchase private health insurance for their child. To find out your family's options, go to or call 1-800-318-2596. Opportunities for immigrant-owned businesses to purchase coverage for themselves and their employees have increased Lawfully present employers, including those with “Temporary Protected Status with Employment Authorization,” could qualify for subsidies to cover themselves and / or their employees. To learn more, go to or call 1-800-706-7893. Funding for community health clinics has increased Because of the ACA, community health clinics will receive more funding. Many families, regardless of immigrant status or health insurance coverage, will be able to get care at these community clinics that provide basic health services such as prenatal and postnatal care; immunizations; dental care; prescription drugs and mental health and substance abuse services. To find the closest community health clinic to you, go here. Where there is more work to be done An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants do not qualify for healthcare coverage even if they are willing to pay the full amount for coverage and are working and paying taxes to insure others. Also, youth who were brought to the United States as children (including those who qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which means they can apply for work permits) do not qualify for healthcare coverage under the ACA. We need to advocate for an expansion of the ACA so that it covers everyone in the country. Nonetheless, the ACA is a step forward in providing healthcare coverage for millions of immigrants in our country. Now that it has been established, we can build on it to cover everyone. Please visit or call the 1-800 numbers above to insure you and/or your family members today. Together we are a powerful force for women, children and families in the United States!

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!