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Biden-Harris Administration fails to extend ACA and Medicaid Coverage for DACA Recipients by Nov. 1st

November 1, 2023
Contact: Emma Bittner
(972) 510-3395 |

Biden-Harris Administration fails to extend ACA and Medicaid Coverage for DACA Recipients by Nov. 1st

(Washington, DC) –  Today, the Biden-Harris administration failed to finalize the proposed plan to extend Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage to include Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients in time for the start of annual open enrollment.

This historic proposal would have been critical to providing necessary health coverage to DACA recipients 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). While DACA recipients are eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage, a third remain uninsured and would benefit from the option to shop for plans on the ACA marketplace. 

Today marks the beginning of the 11th open enrollment period when individuals can enroll for new health insurance plans in the marketplace. However, the administration failed to finalize the expansion for DACA recipients, resulting in another enrollment period where they cannot secure coverage through the marketplace.

Young Invincibles is disappointed that the administration failed to uphold its promises of providing necessary care and coverage to DACA recipients.

In response, Martha Sanchez, Director of Health Care Policy and Advocacy at Young Invincibles, said: 

“At Young Invincibles, we believe that access to affordable health care is a fundamental human right. Extending ACA marketplace coverage to DACA recipients would have allowed them, for the first time, to shop and enroll in health plans that meet basic standards of coverage for routine check-ups, vaccinations, and mental health services.

Access to coverage through the marketplace would have given DACA recipients the agency to manage their health through a health insurance plan as opposed to often waiting to seek medical attention until it is an emergency, which results in worse health outcomes. This transition would have been monumental. Rather, the administration failed to follow through on their promise, resulting in thousands still struggling to access affordable coverage.

Young Invincibles will continue to fight for this transition and uplift DACA recipients’ voices.While we are disappointed that DACA recipients are not eligible today, we urge the Administration to finalize the proposed rule and allow DACA recipients to enroll in coverage as soon as possible, whether within this enrollment period or through a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).”

In response, Josue Rodriguez, DACA recipient said:

“It is very disappointing that DACA recipients will not be able to gain access to health care. The continuing exclusion of DACA recipients from affordable health care harms families, and by extension, our communities.

My family and I have first-hand experience navigating a patchwork of community resources due to the fact that we could not access health care. That resulted in increased stress, financial hardship, and negative social and health impacts. DACA recipients are already dealing with the political and legal ramifications of the DACA program. That being said, we should strive to ensure that DACA recipients, and their families, are living healthy lives by gaining access to health care.”


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