New York, NY – August 17, 2021: Few dozens of DACA recipients rally on Foley Square demanding citizenship now for all undocumented immigrants. (Shutterstock)
Currently, 154,000 immigrant New Yorkers, many of whom are low income, have few, if any health insurance options. They cannot qualify for Medicaid, the current Essential Plan, or subsidized Qualified Health Plan coverage on the New York State of Health online marketplace. The only options they currently have are Medicaid during pregnancy, or Emergency Medicaid, a program that will only cover emergency hospital care that stabilizes an acute medical condition with no follow-up care.
This situation is not only harmful to their personal health, it puts a tremendous strain on their families and our hospitals, and it exacerbates the public health crises in our communities, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that is still ongoing. Other states have taken steps to provide coverage to low-income immigrants, including California Governor Gavin Newsome, who recently proposed expanding the state’s Medicaid program to all immigrants.
#Coverage4All (A880A/S1572A) would create a state-funded Essential Plan for ALL New Yorkers up to 200% of the federal poverty level who are currently excluded because of their immigration status.
We want to thank the NYS Assembly and the NYS Senate for including #Coverage4All in their one house budgets!
Now we are calling on Assembly Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Governor Kathy Hochul to finish the job.
It is now up to them to ensure that the final state budget fully funds this program to expand immigrants’ access to affordable, quality health coverage. New York can lead the nation by investing and improving our health care system to ensure all people, regardless of their immigration status, are able to obtain preventative care, receive the medications they need, and live healthier lives.