Biden to Expand Eligibility for Healthcare Coverage to DACA Recipients

Earlier this month, the Biden administration shared its plan to grant recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program access to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid. With this change, DACA recipients would be eligible for these programs for the first time and would be able to apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace—where they may qualify for financial assistance based on income—and through their state Medicaid. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) will propose an amendment that broadens the definition of “lawful presence” to include DACA recipients. The White House said in a statement that they hope to move this proposal along quickly.

DACA and Health Insurance: The Background

Because the DACA program doesn’t grant legal status, it’s been difficult for Dreamers to access social services. Currently, healthcare for DACA recipients has not been possible; Dreamers are eligible to apply for limited health services in the US including emergency Medicaid, which services those who meet their states’ Medicaid requirements but not citizenship and immigration status requirements.

Status of DACA Today

The DACA program was created in 2012 by the Obama administration and allows roughly 600,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to live and work in the country. An appeals court has ruled that DACA is illegal, and it has paused new applications, but the program is continuing for already-existing recipients. However, despite the fact that Biden has called on Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, so far Congress has failed to do so.

Speak With a DACA Attorney

If you are considering filing a DACA application or are a current Dreamer, it is important to understand your eligibility for healthcare coverage and other social services. We at Reeves Immigration Law Group will stay abreast of this story as it develops. The DACA program is known to grant dreams to many young immigrants and take great pride in helping people achieve those dreams. Speak with a DACA attorney today and we can answer any questions and ensure all paperwork is filled out correctly and all procedures are lawfully followed.


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