Undocumented Immigrants Suffer Due to Health Care Gap

Undocumented Immigrants Suffer Due to Health Care Gap

For many undocumented immigrants living in the United States, health insurance is simply not available, even if serious medical treatment is necessary for a cancer diagnosis or another life-threatening condition. For example, a recent article details the plight of a young college student whose parents brought her to the U.S. at the age of seven. When diagnosed with thyroid cancer, the woman had no health insurance available to cover her treatment, a situation that many, if not most, undocumented immigrants ultimately face. Since the woman was undocumented, she had no access to Medicaid or insurance plans on federal or state health insurance exchanges. Despite the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which made insurance coverage available for many more Americans, undocumented immigrants were specifically excluded from coverage. The only option for an immigrant in this situation is to purchase a private health plan, but without any entitlement to ACA subsidies, doing so is almost always cost-prohibitive. Urgent care clinics and private physicians are free to turn away individuals without insurance if they fear that they are unable to pay their bills, which leaves only the emergency room as a last resort. As these patients are unlikely to be able to pay their ER bills, hospitals continue to raise prices for everyone in order to absorb the losses. Some states do allow a certain level of Medicaid coverage for undocumented immigrants, such as for pregnancy or emergency situations. Other jurisdictions have public or privately-funded clinics or treatment options, but these tend to be concentrated in urban areas. Additionally, although community health centers often provide health care for this demographic, federal funding ran out on September 30 th, leaving an uncertain future for these centers. While there are some health care resources available for undocumented immigrants, ongoing medical care is often unavailable, which puts these individuals at risk, particularly if they later become detained. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., has the experience that you need when you are facing deportation charges, which are becoming more and more common each day. We know how to gather the facts that are relevant to your case, assess your options, and determine whether you have any legal defenses that may enable you to avoid deportation and remain in the United States. Contact the Oakland immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we potentially can help you and your family through this difficult situation.
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