Return to the Latest

Young Invincibles Releases New Report on Health Care Status of Young Adult Immigrants In New York City


February 17, 2016
: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org202-734-6510

 Young Invincibles Releases New Report on Health Care Status of Young Adult Immigrants In New York City

Report finds majority don’t know they may qualify for Medicaid with DACA status

[New York, NY] – Today, Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy organization, released a new report analyzing health care challenges that face young adult immigrants in New York City. One in five New York State residents is an immigrant. Across the state, there are more than 800,000 undocumented residents, 45 percent of whom are young adults between the ages of 16 and 34. Yet while immigrants are a core part of New York communities, access to key services remains a challenge, particularly around health care.

Young Invincibles’ report, Young Adults Immigrants & Health Care in New York, aims to better understand how young adult immigrants in New York City – especially undocumented and those with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status – understand their options and engage with health care and coverage systems. It also makes recommendations to strengthen care and coverage among this population in New York City.

Key findings from those who participated in the report through surveys, focus groups, and interviews include: 

  • The majority of young adult immigrants didn’t know they may qualify for Medicaid with DACA status.
  • The unique needs of mental health services for young adult immigrants are not being met.
  • Many immigrant students find it difficult to understand and access resources available on their respective college campuses.
  • Many young adult immigrants who serve as caretakers to family members who do not speak English need more support.
  • Language access remains a challenge for young adult immigrants and their families.

“Many young adult immigrants in New York City are not receiving the support they need, both because of significant knowledge gaps and lack of access to resources. “Young adult immigrants are uninsured at a higher rate than their older immigrant counterparts and citizen peers, making clear the need to expand options and provide more education about the services they have available,” said Kevin Stump, Northeast Director for Young Invincibles.

New York State is one of the only states where DACA recipients may also qualify for Medicaid. This has been a major point of confusion, as Medicaid is a federal program and explicitly states that DACA recipients are not qualified for Medicaid or other federally funded programs.

“We believe New York City’s immigrant communities should have the ability to live their lives freely. This includes access to health care and access to legal protection,” said Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Today MOIA announced a campaign supported by New York State Health Foundation that aims to ensure that all New Yorkers who qualify for DACA are aware of their options, and know about the powerful benefits of DACA, including access to health care.”

Increasing awareness and support around health care options for young adult immigrants in New York City is critical to a healthy city and a thriving workforce. This includes greater awareness to current options, mapping and coordinating care, and expanding mental health services to meet the unique needs of young adult immigrants.

To cut through the confusion and to help clarify the options that young adult immigrants have in New York, Young Invincibles created an easy-to-use one-page map that is good first step for young adult immigrant New Yorkers and professionals who work directly with them to understand health care and coverage options. See it here.


About Young Invincibles:

Young Invincibles is a policy and advocacy organization committed to amplifying the voices of Millennials, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo. For more information about Young Invincibles please visit