Biden Administration Expands Healthcare Access for DACA Recipients

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The Biden Administration has announced a significant expansion in access to affordable, quality healthcare coverage for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This policy shift marks a crucial development for hundreds of thousands of young individuals known as Dreamers, who came to the United States as children. Initiated in 2012 by President Obama and then Vice President Biden, the DACA policy has provided numerous opportunities for these young people.

How Does This Change Impact DACA Recipients?

For the first time, DACA recipients will be eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This change, set to take effect in November, will allow more than 100,000 young people to apply for health insurance through and state-based marketplaces.

Notably, DACA recipients may qualify for financial assistance to help them purchase quality health insurance. Reports indicate that four out of five consumers have found health plans for less than $10 per month, with many saving approximately $800 annually on premiums.

What Is the Broader Significance of This Policy Change?

This policy update underscores the Biden Administration’s commitment to the principle that health care should be a right rather than a privilege. By extending ACA coverage to DACA recipients, the administration is fulfilling its promise to protect and enhance the ACA, aiming to lower costs and expand health insurance coverage.

How Does This Reinforce the Administration’s Commitment to Dreamers?

From the outset, President Biden has prioritized the protection and preservation of the DACA policy. While only Congress has the authority to grant permanent status and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, the Biden Administration has taken substantial steps to support DACA recipients.

This includes defending the policy against legal challenges and codifying the 2012 DACA policy into a final rule. The recent healthcare expansion is another testament to the administration’s dedication to ensuring that Dreamers have the opportunities and support they need to thrive.

What Should DACA Recipients Do Next?

Starting in November, DACA recipients should visit or their state-based marketplaces to explore their health insurance options and apply for coverage. They should also seek legal advice to fully understand their eligibility and ensure they take full advantage of the financial assistance available. By staying informed and proactive, DACA recipients can secure affordable, quality healthcare coverage, contributing to their overall stability and well-being.