Many immigrants are badly in need of some sort of medical coverage. One young man who broke his arm did not choose to go immediately to the doctor out of concerns that it would be discovered that he and his mother had over stayed their visa. As a result of delay in medical care the physical damage to his arm is now permanent.
Without always being aware of it, many immigrants are qualified for health coverage in California. It's possible that this lack of awareness is due in part to these immigrants never being considered eligible for coverage before.
Many young immigrants in the nation have been allowed to temporarily remain in the country since 2012 without threat of deportation. A program known as "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" offers a two-year status for these individuals. This status can also be renewed. However, no pathway to citizenship is included in this program and these immigrants are not considered eligible for insurance coverage under the federal health care law.
Fortunately, California does offer funding coverage for immigrants covered in the program. This means that as many as 125,000 low-income immigrants in our state could qualify under the Medi-Cal program.
We attorneys that work in the immigration area can help provide education to those with questions about their status. There is still a great deal of mistrust among immigrants that needs to be corrected as this has resulted in individuals not being allowed to take advantage of their options. Individuals that come to our country or are born to individuals that have visited this country badly need to understand all of their legal rights.
Source: Los Angeles Daily News, "Thousands of young California immigrants eligible for health insurance but don't often know it," Anna Gorman, March 18, 2014