Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Up to 220,000 California children excluded from health care reform due to immigrant status, experts say

Date:
June 30, 2011
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Restrictions on eligibility for health care reform programs will result in the potential exclusion of up to 220,000 children from affordable health care coverage in California, according to a new policy brief. The number represents up to 20 percent of all uninsured children in California.

Restrictions on eligibility for health care reform programs will result in the potential exclusion of up to 220,000 children from affordable health care coverage in California, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The number represents approximately 20 percent of all uninsured children in California.

Of those children, up to 40,000 may be eligible for coverage but may not apply, due to confusion about new rules governing access to both the California Health Benefit Exchange and the state's expanded Medi-Cal program.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) restricts its health insurance expansions in ways that exclude many uninsured children in California who are immigrants or have immigrant parents. And the policy brief's authors note that immigrant parents, potentially misinterpreting eligibility requirements for these new programs, may not enroll their eligible citizen children.

"Health care reform restrictions raise some very unpleasant questions about our willingness as a society to let children go without care," said the study's lead author, Ninez Ponce, a faculty associate with the center and an associate professor at the UCLA School of Public Health. "And confusion over the rules may result in even eligible children being cut off from coverage."

Who's excluded?

Using data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the study's authors estimate that under the ACA, approximately 30,000 undocumented immigrant children will be barred from participating in the Health Benefit Exchange, a newly established marketplace for health care plans with subsidies for lower-income Californians. Although their parents will be able to purchase private insurance outside of the exchange, they would not benefit from its protections or competitive prices.

In addition, approximately 150,000 uninsured children will be excluded from the ACA-funded Medi-Cal expansion due to their status as either undocumented immigrants or legal immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for fewer than five years.

An estimated additional 40,000 children who are legal citizens of the U.S. also may be excluded from the ACA coverage expansions as a result of confusion over their parents' citizenship status. Specifically, parents who are non-citizens without a green card -- who are themselves excluded from public programs and the exchange -- may perceive that the documentation restrictions also apply to their qualified citizen children, the study's authors predict.

Community clinics and budget cuts

Without coverage, parents and children alike will likely fall back on community clinics, which have long been a source of care for undocumented and new immigrant children.

"It is neither prudent nor fair to lock immigrants out of purchasing coverage through the exchange," said Daniel Zingale, senior vice president of The California Endowment, which funded the study along with The California Wellness Foundation. "The politicization of health care access for immigrants is unsound policy. Everyone needs access, and we know people generally have better access to preventive care when they have health coverage. This helps prevent costly health conditions."

Although public coverage programs such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families provide a safety net for more than 1 million immigrant children, including undocumented children, state funding to cover this population may soon dry up due to California's ongoing budget crisis.

"Our health care system works best when everyone has access to -- and utilizes -- ongoing preventive care that keeps simple problems from turning into costly emergencies," said Gary L. Yates, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation. "To do otherwise, presents a public health risk."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Gwen Driscoll. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Up to 220,000 California children excluded from health care reform due to immigrant status, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630142853.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2011, June 30). Up to 220,000 California children excluded from health care reform due to immigrant status, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630142853.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Up to 220,000 California children excluded from health care reform due to immigrant status, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630142853.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins