Online Program

Making health reform a reality for all: Challenges and opportunities for immigrant communities

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 10:47 a.m. - 11:02 a.m.

Kathy Ko Chin, MS, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), San Francisco, CA
Priscilla Huang, JD, Policy Division, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Washington, DC
Winston Tseng, PhD, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, San Francisco, CA
Amina Abbas, The VENG Group, Washington, DC
Franco Ciammachilli, Policy Division, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Washington, DC
In 2014, as Americans begin to realize the significant promise of health reform, a distinction between two communities will become glaringly apparent, as immigration status becomes one of the major determinants of whether an individual has access to affordable health insurance and health care.

While health reform makes major inroads in expanding coverage, it completely excludes undocumented immigrants. Recent federal rules bar young adults commonly known as DREAMers from health reform. Existing federal law imposes lengthy waiting periods for most low-income immigrants with legal status. The complex interaction between immigration status and eligibility for health services creates major enrollment barriers for children who are eligible and live in mixed-immigration status families. Immigration-related restrictions serve as an additional barrier to reducing uninsurance and expanding access to care among racial and ethnic minorities who already face difficulties due to language and cultural barriers.

This presentation will provide an overview of the above eligibility restrictions and present select case studies. It will also identify opportunities for immigrants, both in the context of health reform and, pending action by lawmakers, comprehensive immigration reform. Participants will also learn about policy solutions, and ways to expand coverage in the context of these legal limitations, and multi-cultural and multi-lingual outreach initiatives.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe how health reform will impact immigrants of varying legal status. Describe the challenges to enrolling those who are eligible. Describe the unmet needs of those who will continue to be excluded. Describe how comprehensive immigration reform, if enacted, will impact immigrants in the context of accessing health care.

Keyword(s): Health Care Reform, Immigration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the President and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, where I work on issues related to health care access, cultural and linguistically appropriate care, health equity, and immigration.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.