Health Insurance Options for DACA Recipients: 5 Options

Updated on April 10, 2024

As a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient, navigating the healthcare system and finding affordable health insurance can be challenging. However, it’s crucial to understand your options to ensure you have access to necessary medical care. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various health insurance options available to DACA recipients.

30 Second Recap:

DACA recipients can access health insurance through employer-sponsored plans, individual health insurance plans purchased on the marketplace, community health centers and clinics that offer affordable care, and school-sponsored health insurance plans for students. While DACA recipients are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP in most states, a few states do allow enrollment. Despite the challenges, it’s important for DACA recipients to explore their options and find coverage that suits their needs and budget to maintain their health and well-being.

1. Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance 

If you’re employed, your employer may offer health insurance coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers with 50 or more full-time employees are required to provide health insurance. If your employer offers health insurance, you can enroll in their plan regardless of your DACA status.

2. Individual Health Insurance Plans 

DACA recipients can purchase individual health insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace (healthcare.gov) during the annual Open Enrollment Period or if they experience a qualifying life event. However, it’s important to note that DACA recipients are not eligible for premium subsidies or cost-sharing reductions.

3. Medicaid and CHIP 

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are government-funded health insurance programs for low-income individuals and families. However, DACA recipients are not eligible for these programs in most states. Currently, only California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington allow DACA recipients to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP if they meet the income requirements.

4. Community Health Centers and Clinics 

Community health centers and clinics provide affordable primary care services to individuals regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay. These facilities offer services on a sliding scale based on income and can be a valuable resource for DACA recipients who lack health insurance.

5. School-Sponsored Health Insurance 

Plans If you’re a student, your college or university may offer a school-sponsored health insurance plan. These plans are often available to all students, including DACA recipients, and can be an affordable option for coverage.

Final Thoughts

While DACA recipients face unique challenges when it comes to obtaining health insurance, there are still options available. Explore employer-sponsored plans, individual health insurance, community health centers, and school-sponsored plans to find the coverage that best suits your needs and budget. Remember, having health insurance is essential for maintaining your overall health and well-being.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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