For many consumers, the 2015 open enrollment experience has been smoother than last year. For example, the website glitches that challenged many last year have been reduced, and a cleaner, more streamlined website has been developed. However, despite improvements, we are aware that some groups may still face unique enrollment challenges, particularly immigrants and those living in mixed-status families. As supporters of the ACA, NCLR will continue our efforts to ensure the law is working for consumers and that those who are eligible and legally required to do so have the information they need to enroll.
Here are 5 things for immigrant and mixed-status family consumers and those assisting them to know about enrolling under the ACA:
- Immigration information provided on the health application is only used to verify eligibility, not for immigration enforcement purposes.
- Signing up for insurance coverage through the ACA, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program does not make someone a “public charge.” The one exception is for people receiving long-term care in an institution at government expense.
- While those without an eligible immigration status cannot get coverage through the ACA, they can apply on behalf of their eligible dependents. For example, an undocumented parent can apply on behalf of an eligible child.
- A variety of immigration documents can be used to verify immigration status on the health application.
- Free, in-person assistance is available to those applying and can be found at localhelp.healthcare.gov or calling 1-800-318-2596.
If you missed the December 15 deadline to enroll in coverage that begins on January 1, you still have an opportunity to get covered. If you enroll by January 15, your coverage will begin on February 1, 2015. The last day to enroll is February 15, 2015.