May 2024 Newsletter: Healthcare Coverage for DACA Holders

Healthcare Coverage for DACA Holders

Over 100,000 young immigrants, protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, will soon have access to federal healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.

DACA, which began in 2012, shields undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and grants them work permits. However, until now, DACA recipients couldn’t join federally funded health insurance programs.

This change will start on November 1, 2024 and it’s expected to help around 100,000 DACA participants who previously lacked health coverage.

What DACA holders should know:

  • DACA recipients who qualify can sign up for a Marketplace health plan and might get help with premium payments and out-of-pocket costs based on their income.
  • There will be a 60-day special enrollment period starting on November 1, 2024, which coincides with the 2025 Open Enrollment Period, making it simpler for DACA holders.
  • If they apply in November 2024, their Marketplace coverage could start as soon as December 1, 2024, if they meet all other requirements.
  • Starting November 1, 2024, DACA recipients and others eligible for the Basic Health Program (BHP) can also apply for and receive health coverage.

Centralized Intake of VAWA Self-Petitions

There have been changes in how Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, and related filings under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) are handled at the Nebraska Service Center.

Previously, when the Nebraska Service Center received and acknowledged VAWA Form I-360 filings, they were then sent to the Vermont Service Center for processing, and a transfer notice was sent to the VAWA self-petitioner. Now, with improved processing methods in place, there’s no longer a need to transfer these filings to the Vermont Service Center or send transfer notices to self-petitioners.

DHS and USCIS to Begin Using AI Tools for Immigration

The Department of Homeland Security announced plans to explore the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve and streamline operations, including its work on immigration. The first initiative that was announced on the immigration front is “an interactive application that uses GenAI to improve the way the agency trains immigration officer personnel”.

As always, stay tuned to our blog and newsletter for the latest in immigration news and policy. And if you have any questions about your case, reach out to me!