New Rule on DACA Eligibility for Health Coverage is Step in Right Direction

New Rule on DACA Eligibility for Health Coverage is Step in Right Direction

May 3, 2024 – Today, the Biden Administration announced a final rule that makes Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients eligible for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, expanding access to more than half a million people in the United States.

The Children’s Partnership applauds this decision, which would extend the ability to enroll in coverage through Covered California, California’s Health Insurance Marketplace, to the more than 160,000 DACA recipients who live in our state, many of whom are parents or caregivers of children. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that this new rule would lead to 100,000 people enrolling in one of these programs.

We at TCP view immigration through a children’s health lens and work toward advancing health equity in a way that benefits families and their communities, including the rich cultures of California’s diverse immigrant communities.

The DACA program has allowed hundreds of thousands of children in immigrant families to gain stability in their lives and build a more prosperous future, leading to long-term positive outcomes for DACA recipients and their children, including access to higher levels of education and higher quality jobs. DACA recipients are woven into the fabric of our everyday lives, especially here in California. They are community leaders, teachers, health care professionals. They are parents, aunts, uncles, cousins. The work of The Children’s Partnership is more impactful because of DACA recipients among our staff and in our families.

The Biden Administration’s final rule on health coverage eligibility goes into effect in November 2024. In the meantime, TCP continues to educate and work with immigrant communities in enrolling in and renewing their Medicaid coverage, called Medi-Cal in California, which was recently expanded in January 2024 to all income-eligible California residents regardless of age or immigration status. And while TCP recognizes the progress made today, we continue to support comprehensive federal immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship to all who call this country home so we can keep families together.