Biden administration says 100,000 new migrants are expected to enroll in ‘Obamacare’ next year

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Let’s dive into an important update regarding healthcare access for roughly 100,000 immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The Biden administration recently announced a new directive that will allow these individuals to enroll in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

This decision marks a significant step forward in improving access to healthcare for immigrant children, many of whom are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initiated by former President Barack Obama. DACA, also known as the Dreamers program, protects immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents as children and allows them to work legally in the country.

Until now, these individuals were unable to access government-subsidized health insurance programs because they did not meet the requirement of having a “lawful presence” in the U.S. However, with the recent directive, DACA participants will now be considered “lawfully present,” allowing them to enroll in health insurance through the ACA marketplace exchange.

This move is expected to provide much-needed healthcare coverage to thousands of immigrant children who have been delaying medical care due to lack of insurance. By enrolling in health insurance, they can access necessary medical services without incurring high costs or debts.

The Biden administration’s decision comes after receiving feedback from over 20,000 comments on the proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility for these migrants. While the final directive falls short of allowing Medicaid enrollment, it still opens up access to the ACA marketplace, where participants can benefit from tax breaks to make coverage more affordable.

It’s important to note that while more than 800,000 DACA participants will be eligible to enroll in marketplace coverage, the administration estimates that only around 100,000 will actually sign up. This could be due to various factors, including coverage through employers or other sources, as well as affordability concerns.

This action by the Biden administration has both political and practical implications. On one hand, it may help boost support among Latino voters, a crucial demographic for President Biden. However, it is also likely to face criticism from conservatives regarding border and migrant policies.

Overall, the expansion of healthcare access for immigrant children is a positive development that aligns with efforts to improve healthcare equity and ensure that all individuals, regardless of immigration status, have access to essential medical services. As enrollment in the ACA marketplace opens on November 1st, eligible DACA participants will have the opportunity to sign up for coverage and take an important step towards safeguarding their health and well-being.

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