Undocumented Immigrants Say: Let Us Buy Health Coverage
February 15, 2019
By Lynne Ide |
On Valentine’s Day, state legislators heard the call from advocates and undocumented immigrants: Have a Heart! Undocumented Immigrants Need Access to Health Care
They were in Hartford to voice support for a bill (HB 6093) that would allow undocumented immigrants to purchase their own health care coverage from insurers.
It would help people get the care they need without resorting to emergency rooms for routine health needs or waiting until health problems were too serious to ignore.
“We don’t have access to the preventative services we need to live healthy lives and can get access to quality and timely care if something does go wrong,” said Jonathan Gonzalez-Cruz, from Connecticut Students for a Dream.
Right now, individuals who are undocumented are prohibited from accessing health coverage through the HUSKY/Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Programs, and they are not able to purchase individual policies on the state health insurance exchange, Access Health CT.
Opening the private health insurance market to individuals would be a first step to coverage for many undocumented state residents. The bill, which is being considered by the legislature’s Insurance & Real Estate Committee, would be the first of its kind according to advocates.
Rosana Garcia Ferraro, testified in support of the bill on behalf the Foundation, “One of the guiding principles of our work is universality. Universal means no one is left out. We support access to health care for our immigrant communities, regardless of status, because health care is a human right, and we all need access to affordable care and coverage.”