Cinco cosas que las familias con estatus migratorios mixtos deben saber del ACA

AKA-RegistrationSPMientras se inicia la inscripción abierta bajo la Ley de Asistencia Médica

Asequible (ACA), sabemos que hay personas elegibles que se quedan sin seguro y buscan información y recursos para entender sus opciones y conseguir la cobertura de un seguro médico.

Los inmigrantes y las personas que viven en familias con estatus migratorios mixtos se enfrentan ante circunstancias únicas y pueden necesitar orientación adicional sobre la forma de obtener cobertura de un seguro de salud para ellos y para sus seres queridos. La buena noticia es que hay recursos disponibles para ayudarlos, y si usted o alguien que usted conoce tuviese dudas al tratar de inscribirse, le instamos a que regresen ya que se han implementado mejoras en el proceso. La inscripción ya está abierta en healthcare.gov y en cuidadodesalud.gov hasta el 31 de enero el 2016.

A continuación, explicamos cinco puntos para los inmigrantes y personas que viven en familias con estatus migratorios mixtos y para aquellos individuos que están tratado de ayudarlos para que sepan más sobre la inscripción en seguros de salud bajo la ley ACA:

  1. En la solicitud para el seguro de salud aparece la palabra information referente a inmigración y esa información solamente es para verificar la elegibilidad de los que solicitan la cobertura de un seguro de salud. La Oficina del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas ha declarado que no utilizará tal información para propósitos de control migratorio.
  2. La inscripción para el seguro de salud a través de ACA, Medicaid o el Programa de Seguro Médico para Niños no hace que el solicitante se convierta en una “carga pública”. La única excepción es para las personas que reciben atención a largo plazo en una institución sostenida y a expensas del gobierno.
  3. 3. Las personas que no tienen un estatus migratorio elegible no pueden obtener cobertura para obtener seguros de salud a través de ACA, sin embargo esas personas pueden solicitar un seguro de salud en nombre de sus dependientes elegibles. Por ejemplo, un padre indocumentado puede solicitar un seguro de salud en nombre de un niño elegible. Las personas que no están solicitando coberturas por sí mismos no se les preguntará si tienen un estatus migratorio elegible.
  4. Hay diferentes documentos de inmigración que se pueden utilizar para verificar el estatus migratorio para solicitar un seguro de salud. Si se tiene disponible esta información, servirá para agilizar el proceso de inscripción.
  5. Hay asistencia disponible y gratis en persona para aquellas personas que quieran solicitar la inscripción para un seguro de salud. Para obtener más información sobre la asistencia en su área, visite healthcare.gov o llame al 1-800-318-2596.

La cobertura para un seguro de salud comienza el 1 de enero y la fecha límite para inscribirse es el 15 de diciembre. Sin embargo, la oportunidad de conseguir la cobertura de un seguro de salud continúa hasta el 31 de enero de 2016. Cerca de cuatro millones de latinos ya han adquirido un seguro de salud bajo la ley ACA, ¡por ello instamos a todas las personas que sean elegibles a que llenen su solicitud!

Five Things Immigrant and Mixed-Status Families Should Know about Enrolling in the ACA

AKA-RegistrationAs open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) gets underway, we know there are people eligible for coverage who remain uninsured and are looking for information and resources to understand their options and get covered.

Immigrants and those living in mixed-status families face unique circumstances and may need additional guidance on how to get coverage for themselves and their loved ones. The good news is that there are resources available to help, and if you or someone you know faced challenges when trying to enroll, we encourage you to return as improvements have been made to the process. Enrollment is now open at healthcare.gov and cuidadodesalud.gov through January 31, 2016.

Here are five things immigrant and mixed-status families—and those assisting them—should know about enrolling in coverage under the ACA:

  1. Immigration information provided on the health application will be used only to verify eligibility for coverage. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stated it will not use this information for immigration enforcement purposes.
  1. Signing up for insurance 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.
  1. While those without an eligible immigration status cannot get coverage through the ACA, they can apply on behalf of their eligible dependents. An undocumented parent, for example, can apply on behalf of an eligible child. Those who are not applying for coverage for themselves will not be asked if they have an eligible immigration status.
  1. A variety of immigration documents can be used to verify immigration status on the health application. Having this information readily available will help the enrollment process.
  1. Free, in-person assistance is available to help those applying. For information on assistance in your area, visit healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.

For coverage that begins on January 1, the deadline to enroll is December 15. The opportunity to get covered, however, continues through January 31, 2016. About four million Latinos have already gained health insurance under the ACA—we urge everyone who is eligible to apply!

Immigration Status Adds Layer of Complexity to ACA Enrollment

One NCLR Affiliate is working to reach eligible immigrants in families with mixed statuses

By David Castillo, New Media Manager, NCLR

The promise of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can only be met once everyone who is eligible and in need of health coverage receives it. This is especially true for the Latino community, which stands to benefit the most from the new health care law, but only if more of us enroll.

For millions of Americans navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace, there are myriad questions ranging from what plans make the best fit to how much coverage is needed. These are basic questions anyone might have, but for many families, questions about immigration status can complicate the process, especially for those in mixed-status families who are eligible for coverage under the ACA.

A CPLC staffer assists a Tucson resident in signing up for health coverage.

A CPLC staffer assists a Tucson resident in signing up for health coverage.

Mixed-status families, defined as those with members who have different immigration statuses in the same household, often face some of the biggest obstacles to getting coverage for their eligible members. It is a population that requires special consideration for their family dynamics and their cultural sensitivities. One group that has been working closely with this population is Chicanos Por la Causa (CPLC), an NCLR Affiliate based in Phoenix.

As brokers for insurance company Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CPLC is involved in going into the community to answer questions, address concerns, and get people signed up for health coverage. CPLC Insurance President Alicia Nuñez and Lead Sales Representative Rosa Castillo have a lot of experience working with mixed-status families and spoke with us about the challenges they encounter in enrolling folks.

“The overwhelming concern people have is about enforcement of immigration laws,” said Nuñez. “Most of the questions we get are ‘will this affect my status?’”

Nuñez and Castillo drive home the point that information is not collected for immigration enforcement purposes. It’s one they have to stress often. Both credit the anti-immigration attitudes and policies that have become synonymous with Arizona as part of the problem. “They are often scared to even ask about health care,” said Nuñez.

Another of the concerns parents raise is related to the eligibility of their children. Undocumented parents are often unsure whether their kids even qualify. “They don’t believe the subsidies would apply to them because they [the parents] don’t have legal status,” said Nuñez.

CPLC has also done a lot of work in providing the community with a base level of understanding of what health insurance is and how it works.

“Regardless of mixed-status or not, if they’ve never had health insurance, explaining it and how it works… takes up the most time,” said Castillo. CPLC has made it a top priority to educate the community so folks have a general understanding of the ACA.

Nuñez and Castillo have resorted to some creative tactics to achieve this goal.

“A lot of folks come here because they know it’s the law. So, I’ll just draw basic pictures or diagrams that show the White House and Congress and the laws coming from them. It helps give them a basic understanding,” said Nuñez. “I find that people really like that.”

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A CPLC staffer provides a demonstration at a Dia de los Muertos enrollment event.

They also use the car insurance model, which many immigrants are more familiar with, to help draw a clearer picture of how ACA works. “We try to explain it as clearly as possible, but explanations are tailored for each person that comes in. By the time folks leave, they have a good understanding of how insurance works, no matter their understanding when they walk in,” said Castillo.

CPLC’s work to enroll people has certainly paid off. Castillo shared one success story of a woman who in 2008 found herself in the hospital for just a few days. At the end of her stay, she was presented with a $78,000 medical bill.

“It stressed her out and she lost her job. She was afraid of everything,” said Castillo. “She now has affordable insurance. The beauty of having affordable health insurance in her life has enabled her to get out of her house, and has given her freedom and peace of mind.”

With little more than two weeks to go, Nuñez and Castillo know they have their work cut out for them to ensure more ACA success stories become a reality. If you’re in the Phoenix area and still need to sign up for health coverage, visit CPLC any day of the week. The NCLR Affiliate will also be holding enrollment events on February 7–8 and February 14–15, the last weekend to enroll.

We have also put together a quick list of what you need to know about getting covered if you’re in a mixed-status family. For extensive information on the Affordable Care Act, visit us at: nclr.us/hcr.

Five Things Immigrant and Mixed-Status Families Should Know about Enrolling in the ACA

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:

  1. Immigration information provided on the health application is only used to verify eligibility, not for immigration enforcement purposes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. A variety of immigration documents can be used to verify immigration status on the health application.
  5. 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.