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Biden Administration Expands Healthcare Options for DACA Recipients

Posted by Hugo R. Valverde, Managing Attorney, and Anna D. Colby, Attorney Social Media Marketing Manager | May 26, 2024 | 0 Comments

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

When it comes to healthcare, the United States is far behind other developed nations. 

The U.S. spends the most money per person on healthcare, despite Americans seeing doctors less than in other developed countries, and is the only high-income nation that does not have universal healthcare. 

A few years ago the U.S. started requiring a health insurance verification form to be included with taxes, and this did essentially force more people to obtain coverage, although now only four states and Washington, D.C. penalize taxpayers for not having health insurance coverage. About 26 million Americans don't have health insurance, which is almost 8% of the population. 

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients are three times more likely than the general population to be uninsured, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recognizing this as a significant health issue, the Biden Administration has announced that it is amending the definition of “lawfully present” in the Affordable Care Act in order for DACA recipients to qualify for marketplace subsidies, more commonly known as Obamacare. This is set to take effect November 1, 2024, and if paperwork is processed timely, DACA recipients who apply could begin to have health coverage starting December 1, 2024. 

Currently DACA recipients are not eligible for Medicaid or Obamacare because their immigration status does not meet the definition of “lawful presence” needed to enroll in those programs. By changing this definition, the Administration is providing access for an estimated 100,000 Dreamers to have healthcare coverage. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, put the reasoning for the new rule this way: “The Biden-Harris Administration believes health care is a right, not a privilege, and that extends to DACA recipients who have built their lives in the United States.”

If you are a DACA recipient living without healthcare coverage, we encourage you to take advantage of this new change. You can find more information about when and how to register by clicking here

If you would like assistance with an immigration petition, you can reach us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.

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