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There are an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. Unauthorized immigrants account for about one-seventh of the US uninsured population, and their share could rise to one-third as uninsured citizens and legal immigrants obtain coverage with full ACA implementation. With Congress poised to consider a major overhaul of U.S. immigration laws and legalization for many of the nation’s unauthorized immigrants, how legalization affects implementation of the ACA is a key policy question.
In an article in the April issue of Health Affairs, Migration Policy Institute Senior Policy Analyst Randy Capps and Senior Vice President Michael Fix examine the key questions surrounding legalization and the ACA. Among the topics covered: Current coverage rates for unauthorized immigrants, eligibility for coverage under expansion of Medicaid, the distribution of costs of uncompensated care and options for covering those who will remain uninsured under ACA.