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Social workers who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are among those listed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as benefiting for a new final rule that will expand their access to physical and mental healthcare.


The rule, announced May 2, ensures DACA recipients will no longer be excluded from eligibility to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace, or for coverage through a Basic Health Program (BHP). CMS estimates this change could lead to 100,000 previously uninsured DACA recipients enrolling in health coverage through Marketplaces or a BHP.


The Department of Health and Human Services “is committed to making health coverage accessible for DACA recipients – Dreamers – who have worked hard to live the American Dream. Dreamers are our neighbors and friends; they are students, teachers, social workers, doctors, and nurses. More importantly, they are fellow Americans,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “More than one third of DACA recipients currently do not have health insurance, so making them eligible to enroll in coverage will improve their health and well-being, and help the overall economy.”  


DACA recipients and other newly eligible individuals will qualify for a special enrollment period to select a health plan through the Marketplace during the 60 days after the rule’s Nov. 1, 2024, effective date. Those who apply for coverage in November 2024 can have their Marketplace coverage begin as early as December 1, 2024, if they meet all other eligibility requirements. DACA recipients and others who are eligible for a BHP can apply for and receive coverage as early as November 1, 2024.


For more information on the final rule, see this fact sheet.


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