The Associated Press is reporting that the Biden Administration is rewriting regulations at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allow DACA recipients access to the ACA and to ACA premium subsidies:
The action will allow participants in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, to access government-funded health insurance programs. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter before the formal announcement on Thursday…
Charles Gaba has an estimate of who might be newly eligible:
There’s roughly 580,000 immigrants who have DACA status as of today. While all of them would presumably become eligible for ACA enrollment (and, therefore, federal ACA subsidies) via the change in their residency status, that doesn’t mean 580K new ACA exchange enrollees. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, around 39% of them are currently uninsured, or roughly ~230,000, give or take. The rest have other types of healthcare coverage just like most other Americans do.
Besides salami slicing some of the population that remains uninsured, what does this do to the ACA markets?
Individuals with DACA status are, by definition, fairly young. A couple hundred thousand fairly young and likely to be healthy individuals entering the ACA risk pools likely brings down the average risk score by a smidge. If premiums were automatically reflected of the likely risk pool, premiums are likely to drop a little bit. However, the premium setting cycle is pretty slow. The 2024 rates are being set right now with modest tweaks allowed through the summer but rates lock in for all of 2024 in September 2023 based mostly on 2021-2022 and some 2023 data.
Some states will have disproportionally more individuals with DACA status than other states. We would expect bigger (still small but bigger) changes in premiums here in either 2024 or more likely 2025. If there is not a rapid adjustment to the calculation of premium, we would think that we should see lower Medical Loss Ratios in the states with more DACA recipients than in states with fewer DACA recipients.
Anonymous At Work
It’s a nice thought and would help the states least likely to appreciate the help, including one now infamous for crank judges hand-picked to render baldly politicized opinions on command and one infamous for a crank Surgeon General that is not allowed to teach and might be brought up again for academic misconduct.
So yes, I imagine that this would be a massive help in Texas, Florida, as well as Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. California might be large enough and have done enough good things that this change doesn’t register. But I imagine judges like Matty K and Reed O’Connor will soon get their hands on a complaint about this and render a nationwide injunction against Biden doing anything related to DACA members or ACA.
The Biden administration is really great at walking and chewing gum at the same time.
@Anonymous At Work: More important to get these young people coverage than to worry about whether it will be appreciated by the states.
The right will fight anything good; we just have to keep on doing what’s right.
It’s amazingly stupid that DACA has not been folded into ACA eligibility before.
Of course they are young people who improve the risk pool and our public health. THey should have always been eligible to participate. Incredibly short-sighted not to have fortified both programs ab initio. I’m not shocked of course at the shriveled tolerance their exclusion reveals.
This is indeed good news, and it’s about time.
OT: What are the health insurance options for someone on a work visa who got laid off and is in their 60 day grace period.
Full disclosure: I have a cousin who is in this boat. His grace period starts on April 30th.
@schrodingers_cat: Besides COBRA. Cousin is in California.
The 5th Circuit just handed down its decision on mifepristone. Less bonkers than the original I.e. the original FDA approval stands but still bonkers i.e. is subject to the Comstock Act and can’t be mailed. Also the time period for use has been shortened.
@Percysowner: Has the Comstock Act never formally been repealed? Good god. This is up there with Alito citing that 18th-century witch-hunting jurist in the Dobbs opinon.
@jonas: Apparently it’s still around. Since Alito sees The Witchfinder General to be a legal entity to be referred to, this could hold.
Great. Republicans will sue and a right wing court will block it but it’s good to have a compassionate President who tries to do good things. Thank you, President Biden.
@schrodingers_cat: Obamacare in CA? I believe it’s called Covered California.
ETA: Eligibility page
@Scout211: Okay so he’s covered. That’s good to know. His parents are worried about him. They (especially his mom) were against his taking up a job in the US.
@schrodingers_cat: Should be eligible for an ACA special enrollment period now