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Every person deserves affordable health care regardless of their status or how long they have been in the U.S. Being able to get health care, including preventive, routine, and critical health services too often depends on our immigration status.
Under current law, immigrants with lawful permanent resident (LPR) or “green card” status must wait five years before they are eligible to enroll in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Undocumented immigrants are also ineligible to obtain health services through Medicaid or from private health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance exchanges.
The current health and immigration systems are failing families living in the U.S. by placing unnecessary and discriminatory restrictions on their ability to access quality and affordable health care.
The HEAL Coalition, a broad group of reproductive health and justice, immigrant health care advocates, urge passage of The Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Families Act in the U.S. Congress.
What does the HEAL for Immigrant Families Act do?
The HEAL Act would alleviate many of the obstacles preventing immigrant families from accessing affordable health care. It ensures access to health coverage for immigrants by:
- Restoring Medicaid and CHIP eligibility to lawfully present immigrants;
- Removing discriminatory Medicare eligibility requirements regarding length of stay in the U.S. for many lawful permanent residents (LPRs);
- Ending the discriminatory exclusion of undocumented immigrants from accessing health insurance coverage on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Health Insurance Exchanges;
- Ensuring access to public and affordable health coverage for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); and
- Creates a state plan option to expand Medicaid and CHIP eligibility to immigrants without lawful presence.
The HEAL Act removes the legal and policy barriers to affordable health care that disproportionately harm immigrant women. Restoring access to basic health care for immigrant women enables them to make decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their communities with dignity.
The HEAL Act was reintroduced in the House and Senate on July 27, 2023!
Help us amplify the importance of the HEAL for Immigrant Families Act. The HEAL Reintroduction Digital Toolkit includes email and newsletter samples, posts for social media, and other resources to spread awareness and show your support!