The legislators highlighted that finalizing the expansion is crucial for individuals to benefit from the 2024 ACA open enrollment period, which started on Nov.1, 2023.
Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee, and Joaquin Castro joined with Senators Cory Booker, Dick Durbin, and Mazie Hirono to call on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to finalize their proposed rule to expand health coverage for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, crime victims, and immigrant children.
In April 2023, HHS proposed a rule to make DACA recipients eligible for Medicaid, Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage. The rule also expands coverage for other groups, including those with Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status and children seeking humanitarian relief.
The legislators highlighted that finalizing the rule is crucial for individuals to benefit from the 2024 ACA open enrollment period, which started on November 1, 2023. Lawmakers are asking the Biden Administration about the delay in finalizing the rule and how Congress can assist. They also seek details on the administration's commitment to informing newly eligible individuals about their health coverage options once the rule is finalized.
“DACA recipients are also disproportionately uninsured and tend to experience higher barriers to health care – these trends all contribute to racial health disparities in the U.S. Youth approved for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status often have to wait years before receiving a status adjustment. Due to confusion around current rule implementation, access to health coverage has been delayed for many,” the lawmakers wrote.
Emphasizing the urgency, the lawmakers note that the proposed rule suggests implementation during a period of widespread outreach and enrollment activities would be most effective. The letter has support from 98 other House members and four Senators.