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San Francisco Bay Area Immigration Blog

Health Care Reform Will Impact Immigrants

The federal government recently issued guidance on how health care reform will impact non-US citizen foreign nationals who live in the US. Healthcare.gov published, “What do immigrant families need to know about the Marketplace?”  The guidance clarifies which “lawfully present” foreign nationals will be eligible to buy private health insurance through the new “Marketplace.”  “Lawfully present” immigrants may be eligible for discounted health rates, but undocumented foreign nationals are not eligible for benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“I.C.E.”) also issued a memorandum confirming that it would not use the information provided on health care applications as the basis for pursuing action against foreign nationals.  The memo states that “ICE does not use information about such individuals or members of their household that is obtained for purposes of determining eligibility for such coverage as the basis for pursuing a civil immigration enforcement action against such individuals or members of their household, whether that information is provided by a federal agency to the Department of Homeland Security for purposes of verifying immigration status information or whether the information is provided to ICE by another source.”