The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to providing Dreamers the opportunities and support they need succeed. Today President Biden is announcing a plan to plan to expand health coverage for DACA recipients.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are young individuals who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children. They have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives and consider it their home, but they lack legal documentation because of their undocumented status. DACA is a program that offers temporary protection from deportation and provides work authorization for certain individuals who meet specific criteria.
One issue that DACA recipients face is access to healthcare. Many DACA recipients cannot afford to purchase health insurance on their own and are not eligible for public insurance programs such as Medicaid. However, the situation for DACA recipients in regards to healthcare could be changing for the better. Recently, there has been a push to extend Medicaid to DACA recipients.
Medicaid is a public health insurance program that provides low-income individuals with access to affordable healthcare. Currently, only U.S. citizens and certain legal permanent residents are eligible for Medicaid. However, there is a growing movement to extend Medicaid to DACA recipients. Advocates argue that DACA recipients should be eligible for Medicaid because they pay taxes and contribute to the U.S. economy, just like any other resident.
Allowing DACA recipients to access Medicaid would have numerous benefits. Firstly, it would ensure that these individuals have access to basic healthcare services such as preventative care, prescription drugs, and emergency services.
This change, amending the definition of “lawful presence” to include DACA recipients for purposes of Medicaid and ACA marketplace coverage, has not yet taken effect. The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking in short order. We will share updates as this potential change in Medicaid and ACA marketplace eligibility makes its way through the rulemaking process.
For more information on health coverage rules and processes for people who are immigrants, see https://www.healthreformbeyondthebasics.org/category/immigrant-related-resources/.