FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2023
Contact: Emma Bittner
(972) 510-3395 | Emma.Bittner@younginvincibles.org
Biden-Harris Administration Extends ACA and Medicaid Coverage to DACA Recipients
(Washington, DC) – Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced extending Medicaid and Affordable Care Act coverage to include Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients.
This historic announcement is critical to providing necessary health coverage to DACA recipients previously ineligible for government-subsidized health insurance programs. Extending this coverage would impact over 580,000 people enrolled in DACA at the end of 2022, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The Biden-Harris Administration aims to extend this coverage through a rule making by HHS. Should the rule be finalized, DACA recipients could apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, healthcare.gov. When individuals apply for coverage, eligibility information will be verified electronically.
In response to President Biden’s Announcement, Kristin McGuire, Executive Director at Young Invincibles, said:
“At Young Invincibles, we believe that access to affordable health care is a fundamental human right. We know that when even one person in a family lacks access to care, it negatively affects the financial, physical, and mental well-being of young DACA recipients, who are often first-generation and carry the financial burden.
The extension of ACA and Medicaid coverage is critical for DACA recipients. The DACA program has been a crucial tool for recipients to provide stability and access to education and work. However, DACA recipients are disproportionately uninsured, with an estimated one-third of DACA recipients lacking health coverage, according to HHS.
The average DACA recipient has lived in the United States and contributed to our economy for 22 years, and the average DACA recipient is 28 years old. While we celebrate finally addressing equitable access to health coverage for DACA recipients, we know that we must continue to fight for affordable and accessible health coverage for everyone.
Health care is not a privilege, but a right.”
In response, Martha Sanchez, Director of Health Policy and Advocacy at Young Invincibles, said:
“Extending ACA and Medicaid coverage is an essential next step to give DACA recipients the support and opportunity they deserve. It’s astonishing the resilience that DACA recipients have shown since and before the program’s creation in 2012. As we heal from the Covid-19 pandemic, we must adhere to the lessons learned about equitable access, especially for racialized groups, to quality and timely health care. The impact of the Biden Administration’s announcement is monumental. It will be transformative for not just the thousands of DACA recipients across the country but all of our mixed-status families, schools, and communities.
Extending coverage to DACA recipients allows them, for the first time, to receive insurance through the marketplace, an option they had previously been excluded from. This will allow for access to routine check-ups and prevent people from waiting to seek medical attention until it is an emergency which often results in worse health outcomes. Health coverage is a necessity, and at Young Invincibles we are ready to support a transition to ACA and Medicaid coverage for this community.”
Young Invincibles (YI) is a national advocacy and policy nonprofit organization focused on amplifying the voice of young people in the political process at the local, state, and federal levels. YI focuses on issues impacting young adults ages 18 to 34 in higher education, health care, economic security, and civic engagement. Our offices include Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Texas. For more information, please contact Emma Bittner at (972) 510-3395 or firstname.lastname@example.org