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Policy & Politics

More Than 400,000 Immigrants Lose Obamacare Coverage

Naturalized citizens like the immigrants pictured here have the same access to health insurance as native-born citizens. But some people going through the immigrant process are losing their coverage this year.
Maryland GovPics via Flickr
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More than 400,000 people had their health insurance canceled this year due to immigration and citizenship issues, up from just 109,000 last year. The news comes after reports earlier this year that the adult uninsured rate in the U.S. dropped nearly 6 percentage points from the end of 2013 to the beginning of 2015.

One of the sharpest drops came among Latinos, who saw their uninsured rate drop from 41 percent to 28 percent in that time. Now, those gains may need to be revisited.

Immigrants, particularly low-income immigrants, already face hurdles to getting health coverage – like a five-year waiting period for Medicaid eligibility. The Affordable Care Act allows only citizens and legal U.S. residents to purchase coverage and receive subsidies through the health insurance exchanges, now in their second year.

This year the law allowed just 95 days for those using the exchanges to resolve documentation issues regarding immigration or citizenship – last year the timeline was more flexible.

As the Associated Press reports, the number of canceled plans could be much higher:

Big jump in number of immigrants losing health law coverage